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aarvli/u. ^J2^i/iyy' C^Z^rvC 




Experimental Religion, 




80me or the pninctpa.1. errors both ot the armiktaks and an- 

tinomians aiik confu red....n he foundatio.v akd super- 

sirucrike of their different schemes de- 

molisiii:d....and the truth, as it 

IS IN JESUS, explained 

The whole adapted to the weakest capacities, and designed for 

the establishment, comfort, and quickening 

of the people of God. 




Isaiah xxx. 21. ...And dune ears shall bear a •u.-ord belind tbee, saying, Tbti 
»'* the i\iaY, •uaii ye in it, labcn ye turn to ibe ri^bt band, and luben ye tun. 
to the lejt. 

Ma iTHEW v'li. 1.1, li... Enter ye in at the strait gate ; fiir iviJe in the 
gate, and broad is the lony that leadelh to destruction, and many there le 
M\bicb go in thereat : Because strait ts tiw gate, and narrow is tbe may 'ubic^ 
leadetb unto life, andfevc there be that Jinu it. 









X ME be*inc;of GOD is reckoned the first, j^catcst, 
nnd most i' of all things th:it arc the objects of 
knowledge or belief ; and, next to that, must be reckoned the 
nature of that religion which God requires of us, and must be 
found in us, in order to our enjo\ ing the benefits of his fa- 
vor: Oi rather this may l)C esteemed of like importance with 
the otlicr ; for it in like manner concerns us to kiow how we 
may honor and please God, and be accepted of him, as It con- 
cerns us to know that he has a being. This is a point of inli- 
nite consequence to eveiy single person ; each one having to 
do with Ciod as his supreme judge, who will fix his eternal 
state, according as he finds him to be xulth or iv'itliout true reli- 
gion. And this is also u point that vastly concerns the public 
interests of the Church of God. 

It is very apparent that the want of a thorough distinction ia 
this matter, through the defect either of suificient discernment or 
care, has been the chief tliing that has obscured, obstructed, 
and brought to a stand all remarkable revivals of religion v.hl.h 
have been since the beginning of the reformation ; the very 
chief reason wliy the most hopeful and promising beginnings 
have never come to any more than liejrinnings ; being nipt in 
the bud, and soon followed with a great increase of stupidity, 
corrupt principles, a profane and atheisiicid sj)irit, and the tri- 
umph of the open enemies of religion. And Irom hence, and 
from what has been so evident, from time \.o time, in tlu-se lat- 
ter ages of the chiu-ch, and from the small acquaintance I have 
with the history of preceding times, I cannot but tliink, that it 
the events, which have appeared from age to age, siioald be 


carefully examined and considered, it would appear that it ha» 
been thus in all ages ofthc Christian Church from tlie beginning. 

They, therefore, who bring any addition of light to this great 
subject, The nature of true religion^ and its distinction from 
all counterfeits^ should be accepted as doing the greatest possi- 
ble service to the Church of God. And attempts to this end 
ought not to be despised and discouraged, under a notion that 
it is but vanity and arrogance in such as are lately sprung up 
in an obscure part of the world, to pretend to add any thing on 
this subject, to the informations we have long since received 
from their fathers, who have lived in former times, in New- 
England, and more noted countries. We cannot suppose 
that the Church of God is already possessed of all that light, in 
things of this nature, that ever God intends to give it ; nor that 
all Satan^?, lurking-places have already been found out. And 
must we let that grand adversary alone in his devices, to en- 
snare and ruin the souls of men, and confound the interest of 
religion amongst us, without attempting to know any thing 
further of his wiles than others have told us, though we see 
every day the most fatal effects of his hitherto unobserved 
snarea, for fear we shall be guilty of vanity or want of modes- 
ty, in attempting to discern any thing that was not fully ob- 
served by our betters in former times ; and that, whatever 
peculiar opportunities God gives us, by special dispensations 
of his providence, to see some things that were over-looked 
by them ? 

The remarkable things that have come to pass, in late times, 
respecting the state of religion, I think, will give every wise 
observer great reason to determine that the counterfeits of the 
grace of (iod's spirit are many more than have been general- 
ly taken notice of heretofore ; and that, therefore, we stand in 
great need of having the' certain and distinguishing nature and 
marks o<" genuine religion more clearly and distinctly set foriii 
than has been usuiU ; so that the difference between that and 
every thing that is spurious may be more plainly and §urely 
discerned, and safely determined. 


As cnqvilries of this nature arc very important and nccrs-^a- 
ry- in themselves, so they arc what the present state of religion 
in New-England, and other parts of the British dominions^ 
do in a peculiar manner render necessary at this season ; and 
also do give peculiar opportunity for discoveries beyond what 
has been for a long lime. Satan, transforming himself into an 
angel of light, has shewn himself in many of his artifices more 
plainly than ordinary ; and given us opj^ji tunity to see more 
clearly and cxaedy the difference between his operations, and 
the saving operations and fruits of the spirit of Christ : And 
we should be much to blame, if we did not improve such an 

The author of the ensuing treatise has not been negligent of 
these opportunities. lie has not been an unwary or umiis- 
ceming obsei-ver of events that have occurred these ten years 
past. From the intimate acquaintance with him, which I have 
been favored with for many years, I have aljundant reason to 
be satisfied that what has governed him in this publication, is 
no vanit)- of mind, no affectation to appear in the world as an 
author, nor any desire of applause ; but a hearty concern for 
the glor)- of GOD, and the kingdom and interest of his Lord 
and Master, Jesus Chris r : And, that as to the main things 
he here insists on, as belonging to the distinguishing nature 
and essence of tnie religion, he declares them, not only as be- 
ing satisfied of them, from a careful consideration of important 
facts, (which he has had great opportunity to obser^'e), and ve- 
ry clear experience in his own soul ; but the most diligent 
search of the holy scriptures, and strict examination of the na- 
ture of things ; and that his determinations concerning the 
nature of genuine religion, here exhibited to the world, have 
not been settled and published by him without long considera- 
tion, and maturely weighing all objections which could be 
thought of, taking all opportunities to hear what could be saiti 
by all sorts of persons against the principles here laid dowTi» 
from time to time conversing freely and friendly widi gentle- 
men in the Arvuiiian scheme, having also had much acquaint- 


ance, and frequent and long conversation with many of the peo- 
ple called Separatists^ their preachers, and others. 

And I cannot but express my sincere wishes, that what is 
here written by this reverend and pious author, may be taken 
notice of, read without prejudice, and thoroughly considered : 
As I verily believe, from my own perusal, it will be found a 
discoui-se wherein the proper essence and distinguishing na- 
ture of saving religion is deduced from the first principles of 
the oracles of God, in a manner tending to a great increase of 
light in this infinitely important subject.... discovering truth, 
and, at the same time, shewing the grounds of it, or shewing 
what things are true, and also why they are true.. ..manifest- 
ing the mutual dependance of the various parts of the true 
scheme of religion, and also the foundation of the whole.... 
things being reduced to their first principles in such a manner, 
that the connection and reason of things, as well as their agree- 
ment with the word of God, may be easily seen ; and the true 
source of the dangerous eiTors concerning the terms of God's 
favor and qualifications for heaven, which are prevailing at this 
day, is plainly discovered j shewing their falsehood at the ve- 
ry foundation, and their inconsistence with the very first prin- 
ciples of the religion of the bible. 

Such a discourse as this is verv- seasonable at this day : And 
although the author (as he declares) has aimed especially at 
the benefit of persons of vulgar capacity ; and so has not la- 
bored for such ornaments of style and language as might best 
suit the taste of men of polite literature ; yet the matter or sub- 
stance that is to be found in this discourse, is what, I trust, 
will be very entertaining and profitable to every serious and 
impartial reader, whether learned or unlearned. 


Northampton^ August 4, 1 750. 


W r. arc deMj;nfd, by GOD our mahcr, for an endlcs? fxistcnce. 
In this present life we just enter upon being, and arc in a state introduc- 
tory to a never-ending duration in another world, where we arc to be for- 
ever unspeakably haj)i)y, or miserable, according to our present conduct. 
I'bi* is designed for a state of probation ; and that, for a state of rewariU 
ind fninitbnirntt. VVe are now upon trial, and God's eye is upon us eve- 
ry iiioMicnt ; and that picture of ourselves, which we exliibit in our con- 
duct, the whole of it taken together, will give our proper character, and 
(letcnuine our state forever. This being designed for a state of triiil, 
God now nrieans to try us, that our conduct, under all the trials of life, 
may discover what we are, and ripen us for the day of judgment ; when 
Go<l will judge every man according to his works, and render to every 
one according to his doings. He does not intend, in the dispensations of 
his providence, to suit things to a state of ease and enjoyment, which is 
what this life is not designed for ; but to a state of trial : He puts men 
into trying circumstances of set purpose, and, as it were, contrives meth- 
ods to try them. One great end he has in view, is, that he may prove 
tlii-m.and know what is in tlieir hearts. 

He did not lead the children of Israel directly from Egypt to Catuian, but 
iir>t through the Red 5'frt, and then out into a wilderness, where there was 
neither water, nor bread, nor flesh ; and made thorn wander there forty 
years, that he might try tbim, ami prove them, and i-iica what nvas in thtir 
hearts.... l^cul. viii. 2. So, when the christian religion was introduced in- 
to the world, it was not in such a way as men would have chosen, but in 
a manner suited to a state of trial. The Son of God did not come in 
outward glory, but in the form of a servant — not to reign as an earthly 
prii\ce, but to die upon the crobs : And his apostles made but a mean ap- 
pearance in the eyes of the worid ; and that srct was every where spolcn 
against, and persecuted ; and many were the stumbling-blocks of the 
times : And these things were to try the temper of inankiiid. And when 
■christian churches were erected by the indefatigable labors of St. V.w u 
and others, that God might thoroughly try every heart, he not only suf- 
fered the wicked world to rise in arm:, against them, but also let Satan 
loose, to transform himself into an Angel of Light, and, as it were, to in- 
spire, and send forth his ministers, tiai.sfornied into the apostles of Christ, 

vni THE author's pri^face. 

to vent heretical doctrines, and foment strife and division. In the mean 
while, the secure and wicked world looked on, pleased, no doubt, to see 
their debates and divisions, and glad they could have such a handle against 
Christianity, and so good a plea to justify their infidelity : And God de- 
lighted to have things under circumstances so perfectly well adapted to a 
s;ate of trial. He loved to try the apostles, to see how they would be af- 
fected and act ; when not only the world was in arms against them, but 
many of their own converts turned to be their enemies too, by the influ- 
ence of false teachers. He loved to try private christians, to see hovr 
their hearts would be aflectcd towards the truths of the gospel, and the 
true ministers of Chrict, and towards their temporal interest, while the 
truths of the gospel were denied or perverted, and the true ministers of 
Christ despised and stiginatized by heretics, and their temporal interest 
exposed to the rage of a wicked, merciless world : And he loved to try hvp- 
ocriies, to see whether they would not renounce the truth they pretended so 
highly to value, and become disa-ffected towards the ministers of Christ they 
seemed so dearly to love, and follow false teachers, or fall oQ' to the world. 

It is reasonable and fit, and a thing becoming and beautiful, that beings 
in a state of probation should be tried ; and God looks upon the present 
outv/ard ease and comfort even of his own peojjlt;, as a matter of no im- 
portance, compared with things spiritual and eternal. Eternity, with all 
its importance, lies open to his view ; and time appears as a point, i.nd 
all its concerns as things comparatively of no worth. If the wicked 
arc in prosperity, and the righteous in adversity, or all things come ulikc 
to all, God is well j)leascd, because tilings of time are of so little impor- 
tance, and because such an administration ofthings is suited to a state of trial. 
Tlvere will be time enough hereafter for the righteous to be rewarded, and 
the wicked punished. In this view of things, we may, in a measure, nn- 
derstand the darkest, and account for the most mysterious, disjjensations 
of divine providence, and discern the wisdom of tlie divine government. 

It has doubtless appeared as a thing strange and dark to many piou« 
persons, and occasioned not a little perplexity of mind, to observe what 
has come to par.s in N'cia-Etiglar.d sinro tlie year 1740. ...That there shoxild 
be so general an out-pouring of the s-pirit — so many hundreds and thou- 
■ands awakened all over the country, and such an almoiit universal exter- 
nal reformation, and so many receive tlie word with joy ; and yet, after 
all, things come to be as they now arc : so many fallen away to carnal 
tccurity, and so many turned enthusiasts and htretits, and the country so 
generally ?ctUid in their prejudices against experimental rdigion and the 
doctrines of the gospel, and a Hood of Aivuni<mism and imnioialitv, 
ready to deluge the land : b\it, as strange and d.irk a-i it may liavo seemed, 
yet doubtltss if any of us had lived wiih the Israelites in the wilderness, 
or in the three iirst agcb aficr Chijst, cr in the time of ihc reformation 


from Poprry, the dispensations of Divine Providence would, upon the 
wiiole, have aintearid much more mysterious than tlity do now. And 
yet those were times wlicn God was doing glorious thing<t for his Church. 
— And indeed, it has happened in our day, however strange it may seem 
to us, no otherwise than our Savior foretold it commonly would under the 
gospel dis])en$ation, at least till Satan is bound, tliat he may deceive the 
nations no more. The suvter goes forth to sow, and some seed falls by the 
way -side, and some on stony, and some on thorny, and some on good 
ground ; and while he is sowing good seed, an enemy in the night, the 
devil, unobserved, sows f«r« : Now when the *i/h is up, i.e. when new 
limes come on, and trials approach, the main of the seed is lost ; not orly 
what fell by the way-side, but also what fell on the stony and thorny 
ground. And when the good ground is about to bring f<jrth fruit, the tare* 
begin to appear too.... ilfaf. xiii. Thus it has always been. — This is a .state 
of trial, and God has permitted so many sad and awful things to ha]. pen 
in times of reformation, with design to prove the children of men, and 
know what is in their hearts. 

The young people almost all over Nm-England professed they wnuld 
for ever renounce youthful vanities, and seek the Lord. " Well," God, 
in the course of his Providence, as it were, says, " I will try you." 
Seeming converts expressed great love to Christ, his truths, and ministers, 
and ways ; " Well," says God, '* I will try you." Multitudes, being 
enemies to all true religion, longed to see the whole refornnation full into 
disgrace, and things return to their own channel ; and they sought for 
objections and stumbling-blocks : " Well," sajs God, *' You may have 
*' them, and I will try and see how you will be affected, and what you 
" will say, and whether you will be as glad when the cause of my Son 
" is betrayed by the miscarriages of those that profess to be his friends, 
" as the yews of old were, when my Son himself was betrayed into their 
hands by ytidas." Thus God means to try every one. 

A compassionate sense of tlie exercises, which godly persons, especial- 
ly among common people, might be under, in these evil da\s, while some 
are fallen away, and others are clapping their hands and rejoicing v.itli 
all their hearts to see Zion laid waste ; while Anninians are glossing tiuir 
scheme, and appealing to reason and common sense, as thour.h their 
principles were near or quite self-evident to all men of thought and can- 
dor ; and while enthusiasts are going about as men inspired and immedi- 
ately sent by the Almighty, j)retending to extraordinary sanctity, and bold 
ill it that they are so holy in themselves, and so entirely on the Lord's 
side, that all godly ])eo])le must, and cannot but see as tltey do, and fail 
in with them, unless they are become blind, dead and canial, and gott«n 
back into the world ; a compassionate sense, I r.ay, <>f the exerciser, oi 
mind, which pious persons aiiiong common jji'iiplc lai.yln have, in sui !i y 



trving situation of faings, vss the first motive which exci'-edTr^e to enter 
v.pon this work, which I now offer to the public : And to make divine 
truths plain to such, and to strip error naked before their eyes, that ther 
might be establifhed, and comforted, and quickened in their way heaven- 
ward, was the end I had in view : and, accordingly, I have labored verT 
much to adapt myrelf to the lowest capacities, not mcaninj^ to write a 
book for the learned and polite, but for common people, and especially 
for thofe v,-ho are godly among them. 

To these, therefore, that they may read what I have written with thff 
greater profit, I will offer these two directions : 

1. La/wr after (leteniiiitate iJcas of God, and a tense <f hit infinite 
rlory. This will spread alight over all the duties and doctrines of reli- 
gion, and help you to understand the law and the gospel, and to pry into 
the mvsteries, and discern the beauties, of the divine governn>ein. By 
much the greatest part of what I have written, besides shewing Avhat 
God is, consists in but eo many propositions deduced from the divine 
perfections. Begin here, therefore, and learn what God is, and then 
■n-hat the Tjwra/ /aw is ; and this will help you to understand what our 
ruin is, and what the way of our recovery by free grace through Jesus 
Christ- The Bible is designed for rational creatures, and has God for 
its author ; and you may therefore depend upon it, that it -contains a' 
Rcheine jjer.fecdy rational, divine and glorious ; and the pleasure of divin^^ 
knowledge will a thousand times more thanrecompence all your reading, 
Btudy and pains : oniy content not yourselves with a general superficial 
knowledge, but enter thoroughly into things. 

2. Practice, as well as read. The ^nd of reading and kncwledge is 
])ractire : and holy practice will help you to understand what you read. 
Love Gtnl'iviiball your heart, and your vcighbor ai yovf self ;^znd. you cannot 
but understand me, while, in the first Discourse, I shew what is implieid 
in these tv.'o great commands : and practice repentance towards God, 
and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ ; and the second Discourse, 
which treats of the nature of the gospel, and a genuine compliance there- 
with, will naturally bccoire plain and easy : and while you daily study 
divine truths in your heads, and digest thwn well in your hearts, and 
practice them in your lives, your knowledge and holiness will increase, 
xnd God's word and providence be belter understood, your ])erplexing 
•iifficulties will be more s« Ivcd, and ) on be established, strengthened and 
comforted, in your wn • luavcn-ward ; and your light shining before 
men, they will see your good works, and your Father which is in Heaven 
will be glorified. — All which arc the hearty desire and prayer of 

Your Servant in Jesus CiiinsT, 


Jitthlem, .^prii2.', 1750 

Cruc Ucligiou tirlmcatcti. 



MAT. XXII. 37.38,39,40. 

yesua tail unto hhn, T.boit s'jr.It lave the Lor J thy Go ! witb all thy heart, and 
■ix'ilb all thy soul, and with all thy ■mind — Th'u in the Ji rut anl j'-eat cdn- 
■tnunJineiit....And the second /*• Hie unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor a*- 
%bytelf....On these tvso coininanJiiunts hang all the /u.y Mid the pr^flit^. 


i. RUE religion consists in a conformity to the law of 
God, and in a compliance with the gospel of Christ. The re- 
ligion of innocent man consistecT onlv in a conformity' to the 
hiw — the law of nature, with the addition of one jiosltive pre- 
cept : he had no need of gospel-grace. But when man lost 
his innocency, and became guilty and de[)ra\ed — when he fell 
under the wradi of God and power of sin, he needed a redeem- 
er and a sanctifier ; and in the gospel a redeemer and a sanc- 
tifier are provided, and a way ior our obtaining pardoning mer- 
cy and sanctifying grace is opened — a compliance with which 
does now, therefore, become part of the religion of a fallen 
creature. Now, If we can but rightly understand the tarv^ and 
rightly understand the gospel, we may easily bee wherein a 
conformity to- the one, and- a compliunrce widi the other, dots 
consist ; and so what true relrgion is. 

I'or the present, let us take tiie hiw under consideration. — 
And it will be proper to enquire into these following particu- 


lars : — 1. What duty does God require of us in his law ? — 2. 
From what motives must that duty be done ? — 3. What is that 
precise measure of duty which God requires in his law ? And 
a short, but very clear and plain answer to all these questions 
we have before us in our text ; which is the words of our blessed 
Savior, and in which he does upon design declare what the sum 
and substance of the law is. He had a question put to him in these 
Avords : " Master, which is the great commandment in the 
law ?" To which he answers — " Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart, he. ; this is the first : The second 
is like imto it, &c." The ten commandments are summed up 
in these two ; and every duty enjoined in the law, and incul- 
cated in the prophets, is but a deduction from these two, 
in which all are radically contained. A thorough under- 
standing of these two will therefore give us an insight into 
all. Let us now, therefore, begin with taking thej^r.rf of these 
into particuUir consideration. — Thou shall love the Lord thy 
God with all thij hearty 8iC....Here is — 1. The duty required, 
viz. love to God. — 2. The grounds and reasons of the duty in- 
timated.. ..i?eca?/.9(;' he is the Lord our God. — 3. The measure of 
duty \eqnivtd....V/ith all thy heart, &c. 

In discoursing upon these words, I will therefore endeavor 
to shew, 

I. What is implied in love to God. 

IL From what motives we are required to love him. 

IlL What is the measure of love which is required. 



L I am to shew 7uhat is implied in love to GoD,. 

1. A true knorvlcdfre of God \?, implied ; for this lays tlie foun- 
dation of love. A spiritual siglit of (iod, and a sense of his 
glory and beauty, begets love. When in: that commandeil 
the light to shine out of darkness, shines in our hearts, and 
gives us the light of the knowledge of the glory of (iod ; and 
when we, with open face, beiioid, as in a glass, the glory of die 


Lord, then wc arc cliungcd into the same hnage : the temper 
and iVamc of oiir hearts become like Ciod's : (to speak alter 
the manner of men) we begin to feel towards God, in a meas- 
ure, as he does towards himscU ; i. e. to love him with all our 
lu arts.... II Oj)-. ill. 18. & 1\-. 6. For now we l)i-;:;ln to pcrcrive 
the grounds and reasons ol that infinite esteem he has of him- 
self, and infinite complateney in himscU, and wh\' he commands 
all the world to love and adore him : And the same groimds and 
reasons which move him thus to love himself, and conmiand all 
the world to do so too, do enkindle the cUn Ine flame in our heaits. 
Wiien we see God, in a measure, such as he sees himself to be, 
and have a sense of his glor)' and beaut) iu being what he is, in 
a measure, as he himself has, then we begin to love him with 
the same kind of love, and Iromthe same motives, as he himself 
does ; only in an infinitely inferior degree. This sight and sense 
of God discovers the grounds of love to him : We see why he 
requires us to love him, and why we ought to lo\e him — how 
right and fit it is ; and so we cannot but love him. 

This true knowledge of Ciod supposes, that, in a measure, 
we see God to be just such a one as he is ; and, in a measure, 
have a sense ot his infinite glory and beaut}' in being such. 
For if our apprehensions of God are not right, it is not God 
we love, but only a false image of him framed in our own 
fancy.* And if we have not a sense of his glory and beauty 

• How false and danj;erous, therefore, is that principle, " That it Is no 
Tiiavter what men's principles are, if their lives be but good." — Just as if 
that external conforiiiity to the law iniijht be called a go^d life, which 
ddcs not proceed from a genuine love to God in the heart : or just as if 
a man might have a genuine love to God in his heart, with'nit liaving 
right apprehensions of liim !...or just as if a man might have right appre- 
hensions of God, let his apprehensions be what they will ! Upon this 
principle, Heatbeiis, yews, and Mtiimnrtans, may be saved as well as 
Christians. And, upon this principle, the heathen nations need not much 
trouble themselves to know which is the right G(x{ among all the gods 
that are worshipjjcd in the world ; for it is no matter wj{';c/{) Co'i they think 
is the true, if their lives are hut good. — 13ut why has God revealed him- 
self in his word, if right apprehensions of God be a vaiter of such indif- 
ference in religion ? and why did St. Paul take snrh ]>ains to convert the 
heathen nations to Christianity, and so much fill up his epistles to them 
afterwards with doctrituil points, and be so strenuous as to say, " If an an- 
gel from heaven should preach anv other gospel, i.f.t him be ACCt'R- 
SED," if right apprehensions of God, and right printi[)le8 of religion be a 


in being what he is, it is impossible vre should truly love 
and esteem him for being such. To love God for being what 
he is, JMid yet not to have any sense of his glory and beauty in 
being such, implies a contradiction ; for it supposes we have 
a sense of his glory and beauty v/hen we have not : a sense of 
tlie beauty and amiableness of any object being always neces- 
earily implied in love to it. Where no beauty or amiableness 
is seen^there can be no love. ' Love cannot be forced. Forced 
love is no love. II we are obliged to try to force ourselves to 
love any body, it is a sign they are very odious in our eyes, or 
at least that we sec no beauty or amiableness in them, no 
form or comeliness, wlierefore we should desire or delight in 
them...XW/^^ viii. 7. In all cases, so far as we see beauty, so 
far we love, and no farther. 

Most certainly that knowledge of God which is necessary 
to lay a foundation of genuine love to him, implies not only 
right apprehensions of what he is, but also a sense of his glory 
and beauty in being such ; for such a knowledge of God as 
consists merely in sjieculatioiiy let it rise ever so high, and be 

matter of such indifference ? — It is strange that such a notion should bo 
ever once mentioned by any that jjretcnd to be Christians, since it ii bub- 
versive ot" the whole Christian religion : niakinf!; Christianity no safer a way 
to heaven than Faganisvi : Yea, such a principle naturally tciuls to niako 
all those who imbibe it leave /tnr to God waA fait b in Christ out of their 
religion, and quiet themselves with a mere emjity form of external duties .- 
Or, in other words, it tends to make them leave the laxv and thcgosfic! out 
of their religion, and quiet themselves with mere heathen morality ,- for a 
man cannot attain to /mv to God Tind faith in Christ, witliout ri^'ht apprc- 
tensions nfGod and Christ : Or, in other words, a' man cannot atiain to a 
real conformity to the law, and to a genuine compliance with the gospi'l, 
unless his principles respecting tlie law and gospel are right : !)ut a man 
may attain to a good life, i-xtcniatly, let his appreliensinns of God and 
Christ, of la'-.j and ^'oxfie!, and all his jjrinciples of nligion, be \^liat they 
■will. Let him be a heathen, or Jew, a Mahf)metan, or Chri;jtian ; yea, 
if a man be an Atheist, he may live a good life externally ; lor any man 
has sufficient power to do every external duty ; and it is many times much 
to men's honor and worldly interest t^ appear rigbteom uutnardly before 
»;if»;....Mat. xxiii. 28. 

N. B. What is here said, may, with a little alteration, be as well appli- 
ed to some other sorts of men. So the Moravians ssy " They care nut 
what men's principles are, if they do hut love the Savior." So, in M'oi- 
Engtand, there are multitud-^-, who care little or nothing wl -Lt doctrines 
Tneri believe, if they arf but full of flamino Just as if it were no 
matter what kind of Savior we frame an idea of. if wc do but love him . 
hoi what we arc ^^ealout a!>out, if we arc but F[.a.ming n\3 i. 


tver so clear, will never move us to love him. Mere specula- 
tion, where there is no sense of beauty, will no sooner fill the 
heart with love, than a looking-glass will be filled with love by 
the image of a beautiful countenance, which looks into it : and 
a mere speculative knowledge of God, will not, cannot, beget 
a sense of his iicauty in being what he is, when there is naturally 
no disposition in ourhearts to account him glorious in being sut h, 
but whoUv totlie contrary. Rom. viii. 7.... The carnulinindi.s ni' 
viity against Gccl. When natures are in perfect contrariety, 
(the one sinful, and the other holy,) the more they are known 
to each other, the more is mutual hatred stirred up, and their 
entire aversion to each oUier becomes more sensible. The 
more thev kno\y of one anoUier,tlie greater is their dislike, and 
the plainer do they feel it^-^Doubtless the fallen angels have 
a great degree of spccuhui\e knowledge ; they have a very- clear 
sight and great sense of what Ciod is : but the more they know 
of God, the more they hate him : ;'. c. their hatred and aver- 
sion is stiiTcd up the more, and they feel it plainer. So, awa- 
kened sinners, v.'hen under deep and thorough conviction, have 
comparatively a veiy clear sight and gi-eat sense of God ; but 
it only makes them see and feel their native cnmit)', which be- 
fore lay hid. A sight and sense of what God is, makes them 
see and feel what his law is, and so what their duty is, and so 
what their sinfulness is, and so what their danger is : It makes 
the commandment comc^ and so sin revives, :ind t/iey die.. ..Horn. 
vli. 7, 8, 0. The clearer sight and die greater sense they have 
of what Cod is, the more plainly do they perceive that perfect 
contrarietv between his nature and Uieir's : their aversion to 
God becomes discernible : they begin to see what enemies 
they are to him : and so the secret h\-pocrisy there has been in 
all their pretences of love, is discovered — and so their high con- 
ceit of their goodness, and all their hopes of finding favor in the 
sight of God upon the account of it, cease, die away, and come 
to nothing. Sin revived, and I died. I'he greater sight and 
sense thev have of what God is, the plainer do they feel that 
thev have no love to him ; but the greatest aversion : for the 


more they know of God, the more their native enmity is stiired 
up. So, again, as soon as ever an unrcgenerate sinner enters 
into the woiid of spirits, v/here he has a much clearer sight 
and greater sense of what God is, immediately his native en- 
mity v/orks to perfection, and he blasphemes like a verj- devil : 
and that although perhaps he died full of seeming love and jo)'. 
As the Golatians, who once loved Paul, so as that they could 
even have plucked out their eyes and given them to him ; yet, 
when aftenvards they came to know more clearly what kind of 
man he was, then they turned his eneinies : And so, finally, all the 
wicked, at the daj- of Judgment ,when they shall see very clear- 
ly what God is, will thereby only have all the enmity of their 
hearts stirred to perfection. — From all which it is exceedingly 
manifest that the clearest speculative knowledge of God, is so 
far from bringing an unholy heart to love God, that it will only 
stir up the more aversion ; and therefore that knowledge of 
God which lays the foundation of love, must impl)' not only 
right apprehensions of what God is, but also a sense of his glo- 
ry and beauty in being such.* 

Wicked men and devils may know what God is, but none 
but holy beings have any sense of his infinite glory and beautv in 
being such; \\\\\.ch sense, in scripture-language, is called AVrv;/^ 
and knoxvlng. I. John iii. 6. Whosoever s'mnetli,liath not seen 
hhn, neither knoivn h'nn. III. John, ver. 11. He that doth evil 
hath not seen Cod. I. John ii. 4. He thatsairh, I kno~v him, 
and kcepcth not his commandments, is a liar, wid the truth is not 

* I grant, thut if all our enmity against God arise nicn-ly from our 
conceiving liim to be our enemy, tlien a manifestation of liis love to our 
souls will cause our enmity to cease, and bring us to love him ; nor will 
tlicre he any need of a sense of tlie moral excellency of his nature to pi-o- 
duce it ; and so tlicrc will be tio need <)f the sanclifving iiiriuen(es of the 
holy spirit. A inanifi station of the love of God to our souls will effectu- 
allv change us. ...and thus a man may be under great terrors iVom a sense 
<>fthe wrarh of God, and may see the enmity of his heart in this senses 
and mav afierwards have, as he thinks, great manifestations of the lev* 
of God, a;i<l be Hlletl with lovt and joy ; and after all, never truly seethe 
plague of hisown heart, nor have his nature renewed : and a man's having 
experienced a false conversion, naturally leads him to frame wrong 
notions of rcli^^ion, and blinds his Tiiind aj^ainst the truth. Many of the 
Aiitiiiom'nm principles take rise from llii:; ({uartei . 


in him. Because wicked men have no sense of his gloiy and 
beauty, therefore they are said not to know (iotl : For all 
knowledge without this is vain ; it is hut the form of knowledge 
....Rem. ii. iiO. It will never enkindle divine love. And, in 
scripture, sinners are said to be hliiul., becau«»e, after all their 
light and knowledge, they have no sense of God's glory in be- 
ing what he is, and so have no heart to love him. And hence 
also they are said to be dead. They know nothing of tl:c in- 
effable glor\' of the divine natiu^, and the love of God is not 
in x\\cn\....yohn v. 42. andviii. 19, 55. 

2. Another thing imphcd in love to God is esteem. Estccmi 
strictly speaking, is that high and exalted thought of, and value 
for, anv thing, which arises from a sight and sense of its own 
intrinsic worth, excellencv and bcautv. So, a sense of the infi- 
nite dignity, greatness, glory, excellency and beauty of the 
most high C<)d, begets in us high and exalted thoughts of him, 
and makes us admire, wonder and adore. Hence, the hcaven- 
Iv hous fall down before the throne, and, under a sense of hi» 
inefiUble glory, continually cr\-, Ho{ij^ ^'o^y» hohj, Lord God Al- 
mightij, the whole earth isfuU of thy ghtrj. And Saints here 
below, Willie tiiey behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord,, 
arc ravished ; they esteem, they admire, they wonder and 
adore ; and, under some feebler sense of the ineflable glory oi 
the: divine nature, they begin to feel as they do in hca\en, and 
to speak their language, and say, " \Vho is a God like unto 
thee ! thy name alone is excellent, and thy glory is exalted 
above the heavens." 

This high esteem of God disposes and inclines die heart to 
acquiesce, yea, to exult, in all the high prerogatives God as- 
sumes to himself. 

God, from a consciousness of his own infinite excellency, hi* 
entire right to and absolute authority over all tilings, is dispos- 
ed to take state to himself, and honor und mnjesiy, the king- 
dom, the power and the glor)- ; ami he sets up himself as the 
most high God, supreme Lord and sovereign Ciovemor oi the 

whole world, and bids all worlds adore him, and be iu a most 


S TRUi: Rr.LuaoN dklineatkd, and 

perfect subjection to him, and that with all their hearts ; and 
esteems the wretch, who does not account this his highest hap- 
piness, worthy of eternal damnation. God thinks it infinitely 
becomes liim to set up himself for a God, and to command all 
the world to adore him, upon pain of eternal damnation. He 
thinks himseU fit to govern tlie world, and that the throne is his 
ptoper place, and that all love, honor and obedience are his due, 
" I am the Lord, (says he) and besides me there is no God. 
*•• I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give 
*' to anodic r. And thus and thus shall ye do, for I am the 
*' Lord. And cursed be everj' one that continues not in all 
*' things written in die book of the law to do them." Now it 
would be infmitely wicked for the highest angel in Heaven to 
assume any of this honor to himself ; but it infinitely becomes 
the most high God thus to do. And when we see his infinite 
dignitv, greatness, glory and excellency, and begin rightly to 
esteem him, then his conduct, in all this, will begin to appear 
infinitely right and fit, and so infinitely beautiful and ravishing, 
and worthy to be rejoiced andexulted in. Psalm xci. l....T/ie 
Lord relgnethj let the earth rejoice : let the mu/titiu/e of the isles 
be glad thereof. 

And a sight and sense of the supreme, infinite glory and ex- 
cellency of the divine nature, will not only make us glad diat he 
is God, and King, and Governor ; but also exceedingly glad 
that we live imder his government, and are to be his subjects 
and servants, and to be at his disposal.... It will shew us the 
grounds and reasons of his law... how infinitely right and fit it is 
that we should love him with all our hearts, and obey him in 
every thing ; how infinitely unfit and wrong the least sin is, and 
howjiistthc threatened punishment : and, at the same time, it 
will help us to see that all the nations of the earth are as a drop 
of die bucket, or small dust of the balance, before him ; and 
that we ourselves aie nothing and less than nothing in his sight. 
So that a right sight and sense of the supieme, infinite glory of 
(iod, will make us esteem him, so as to be glad that he is on 
tlie throne, and we at his footstool.. ..that he is king, and we his 


sul)jccts...that he rules and reigns, and that wc arc absolutrly 
in subjection, and absolutely at his dis|X)sal. In a word, wc 
sliiill be glad to see him tiike all that honor to himself whidi he 
does, and shall be hearilly reeonciletl to his go\ ernment, and 
cordially willing to take our own proper places ; and hereby a 
foundation will begin to be laid in our hearts for all things to 
come to rights. Job xlii. 5, &.... I have heard of thee htj the hear- 
ijig of the ear : but iioxv mine eye aeeih thee. Wherefore J ab' 
hor myself and repent in dust and ashes. Isa. ii. 1 L./Fhe Ifty 
looks of man shall be humbled^ a)id the hmightincss of man sludl 
be brought dorvn^ and the Lord alone shall Oe exalted.. ..And that 
all this is impfied in a genuine love to God, not only the rea- 
son of the thing and the plain tenor of scripture manifest, 
but it is even self-e\ ident ; for if we do not so esteem Ciod a» 
to be thus glad to have him take his place, and we ours^ it argues 
secret dislike, and proves that tliere is secret rebellion in our 
hearts : Thus, therefore, must we esteem the glorious God, or 
be reputed rebels in his sight. 

3. Another thing implied in love to C'od may be called be- 
nevolcnce. ^\'^hen we are acquainted with any person, and he 
appears ver)- excellent in our eyes, and we highly esteem him, 
it is natural now heaitily to wish him well ; we are concerned 
for his interest ; we are glad to see it go well with him, and 
sorry to see it go ill with him ; and ready at all times chearful- 
ly to do what wo can to promote his welfare. Thus Jonathan 
felt towards David : and thus love to God will make us feel to- 
wards him, his honor and interest in the world. When CwkI 
is seen in his infinite dignity, greatness, glory and excellency, 
as the most high God, supreme Lord and sovereign governor 
of the whole world, and a sense of his infinite wordiiness is 
hereby raised in our hearts, this enkindles a holy benevolence, 
the natural language of which is, Let God be glorified.. ..PsAm 
xcvi. 7, 8. And be thou exalted, God, above the heavens : let 
thy glory be above all the earth. ...V^vAm Ivii. 5, 11. 

This holy disposition sometimes expresses itself in earnest 
longi?igs that God would glorify himself, and honor great 


name ; and bring all the world into an entire subjection to him. 
And hence this is the natural language of true Xovt.... Our father 
xvhich art in Heaven^ halloxved be thy name^ thy kingdom come^ 
thy will be done on earthy as it is in Heaven.. ..l^lax. vi. 9, 10. 
And hence, when God is about to bring to pass great and glo- 
rious things to the honor of his great name, it causes great joy 
and rejoicing. Psalm xcvi. 11, 12, 13. ...Let the heavens rejoice, 
and let the earth be glad : let the sea roar and the fulness there- 
of : let the field be joyful, and all that is therein : then sliall ths 
trees of the -cvood rejoice before the Lord ; for he cometh^for he 
Cometh to judge the earth : he shall judge the world with right- 
eousness, and the people xvith his truth. 

And hence again, when God seems to be about to do, or per- 
mit, any thing, which, as it seems to us, tends most certainly to 
bring reproach and dishonor upon his great name, it occasions 
the greatest anguish and distress. Thus says God to Moses, 
*■'■ This is a stiff-necked people, let me alone that I may destroy 
*' them in a moment, and I will make of thee a great nation." 
But says Moses, " What will become of thy great name ? 
" What will the Egyptians say ? And what will the nations all 
*' round about say ?" And he mourns and wrestles, cries and 
prays, begs and pleads, as if his heart would break : and says 
he, *' If I may not be heard, but this dishonor and reproach 
" must come upon thy great name, it cannot comfort me to tell 
" me of making of me a great nation : pray let me rather die 
" and be forgotten forever, and let not my name be numbered 
*■*■ among the living ; but let it be blotted out of thy book." 
Well, says God, "• I will hear thee. Cut, as truly as I live, I 
*' will never put up tliese affronts ; but the whole world shall 
*' know what a holy and sin-hating God I am, and be filled 
*' with my glory : for the carcases of all those who have treat- 
*' cd me thus shall fall in the wilderness ; and here they shall 
" wander till forty years arc accomplished, and then I v, ill do 
" so and so to their children, and so secure the honor of my 
*' power, truth and faithfulness." And now INloses is content 
to live in the wilderncsz, and do, and suifcr, and undergo any 


ihlng, if Cod will but take care of his great name. Exocf.xxxW. 
Numb, xiv....And as it is distressing to a true lover of God, to 
see God's name, and works, and ways full into reproach and 
contempt ; and as, on the other hand, Uicrc is no greater joy tiian 
to sec God glorify himself (Exoil. xv. J ; hence, this woild^ 
trven on this account, may be fitly called a vale of hars to the 
people of God, because here they aie always seeing reproach 
and contempt cast upon God, his name, his works and his ways : 
And hence, at the day of judgment, all these tears shall he 
wiped away from their eyes, because then they shall see all 
things turned to the advancement of the glori'ofhis great name, 
llu-oughout the endless ages of eteiTiity....AVL'. xix. 1,2,3,4, 5. 
Again, this divine bincvolence, or wishing that God may 
be glorified, sometimes expresses itself in earnest longings that 
all worlds might join together to bless and praise the name of 
the Lord ; and it appears infinitely fit and right, and so infi- 
nitely beautiful and ravishing, that the whole intelligent creation 
should forever join in the most solemn adoration : yea, and 
that sun, moon, stars.,, air, sea.. ..birds, beasts, fishes.... 
mountains and hills, and all things, should, in their way, dis- 
play the divine perfections, and praise the name of the Lord, 
because his name alone is excellent, and his glory is exalted 
above the heaveivs. And hence the pious Psalmhi so often 
breathes this divine language: Psalm ciii. 20, 21, 22. ...Bless 
the Lord., ije his angels^ that excel hi strength — that do his cotn- 
iJunicIinetUSy hearkening unto tlie voice of his zccrd... .Bless ye the 
Lcrd^ all ye his hosts., ye ministers of his., that do his pleasure,... 
Bless the Lord., all his works., in all places of his dominion : 
Bless the Lord., my soul. Psalm exlviii, 1 — \o.... Praise ye 
(he Lord.. ..Praise ye the Lordfrcm t/:e heavens: praise him in 
the heights,.,. Praise him, all ye his angels : praise him, all his 
hods..,. Praise him, sun and moon., ^.•. — Lit them praise the 
name of the Lord ; fcr his 7Uir,ie alone is excellent , Gc. See al- 
so the 95, 96, 97, & 98th Psalms, Sec. &c. 

Lastly, from this divine btnevolence arises a free and genu- 
ine disposition to consecrate and give up ourselves entirely to 


the Lord forever — to walk in all his ways, and keep alibis com- 
mands, seeking his glory : For if we desire that God may be 
glorified, we shall naturally be disposed to seek his gloiT. A 
sight and sense of the infinite dignity, greatness, gloiy and ex- 
cellency of God, the great creator, preserver and governor of 
the world, who has an entire right unto, and an al>solute author- 
ity over all things, makes it appear infinitely fit that all things 
should be for him, and him alone ; and that we should be en- 
tirely for him, and wholly devoted to him ; and that it is infi- 
nitely wrong to live to ourselves, and make our own interest 
our last end. The same views which make the godly earnest- 
ly long to have God glorify himself, and to have all the world 
join to give him glory, thoroughly engage them for their parts 
to live to God. After David had called upon all others to bless 
the Lord, he concludes with, Bless the Lord^ my soul : And 
this is the language of heaven — Rev. iv. 11.... Thou art zuorthi/^ 
Lord, to receive glory, and honor, ajid jtower : For thou host- 
created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were crea- 
ted. And it was their maxim in the Apostles' days. Whether 
they ate or drank, or xuhatcver they did, all must be done to the 
glory of God.. ..I Cor. x. 31. And it was their way, ?iot to live 
to themselves, but to the Lord. ...11 Cor. v. 15 : Yea, Whether 
they lived, to live to the Lord ; or whether they died, to die to the 
Lord....^ovci. xiv. 7, 8. This was what they commended.... 
Phil. ii. 20, 21. And this was what they enjoined, as that, in 
which the very spirit of true religion consisted.... i:y^/i. vi. 5, 0, 
7. — I Cor. vi. 20. — Rom. xii. 1. &vii. 4. 

All rational creatures, acting as such, are always influenced 
bv motives in their whole conduct. Those things are always 
the most powerful motives, which appear to us most worth) of 
our ciioice. I'he principal motive to an action, is always the 
ultimate end of the action : Hence, if Ciod, his honor and inte- 
rest, appear to us as the supreme good, and most worthy ot our 
choice, then God, his honor, and interest, will be the principal 
motive and ultimate end of all we do. If we lo\ e God su- 
prcmel);, we shall live to him ultimately ; if we love him with 


all our hearts, we shall serve him \\ iih all our souls : Just n^, 
on die other hand, if we love oureelves al)Ovc all, then seli'-love 
will absolutely govern us in all things ; il' sell-interest be the 
principal inoti\e, then sclf-intcrcst will be the last end, in our 
whole conduct ; i luis, then, we see, that if (ioi) be highest in 
esteem, then GotPs interest will be the principal motive and the 
last end of the whole conduct of rational creatures ; and '\f self 
be the highest in esteem, then selj-intcrcst will be the principal 
motive imd last end : And hence v/e may observe, that where 
self-interest governs men, they are considered in scripture as 
serving t/ieinsclves....llos. x. 1. — Zee. vii. 5, 6. And where 
CoiPs interest governs, they are considered as serving the Lord 
....II Cor. V. 15. — Gal. i. 10. — Eph. vi. 5,0,7. compared with 
Tit. ii. 9, 10. To love God so as to serve A/w, is wliat the 
law requires ; — to love .self so as to serve self] is rcbcllicii 
against the majesty of heaven : And the same infinite obliga- 
tions which we are under to love God abo\e ourselves ; even 
the same infinite obligations are we under to live to God ulti- 
mately, and not to ourselves : And therefore it is as great a sin 
to live to ourselves ultimately,as itis to love ourselves supremely. 
4. and l:\sdy. DtUght in God, is also implied in love to him. 
By delight we commonly mean diat pleasure, sweetness and 
satisfaction, which we take in any thing that is veiy dear to us. 
When a man appears very excellent to us, and we esteem him, 
and wish him ;J1 good, we also, at the same time, feel a delight 
in him, and a sweetness in his conipany and conversation ; we 
long to see him when absent ; we rejoice in his presence ; the 
enjoyment of him tends to make us happv : So, when a holy 
soul beholds God in the infinite moral excellencv and bcautv of 
his nature, and loves him supremeh , and is devoted to him en- 
tirely, now also he delights in him superlatively. His delight 
and complacency is as great as his esteem, and arises fiom a 
sense of the same moral excellency and beauty. From this de- 
light in God arise longings after further ac(iuaintance with him, 
and greater nearness to him. Job xxiii. 2...0 that /inen> wliere 
ImightJinJ him^ thai I might co:nc eveiita his scat I — I^ongings 


after communion willi him. Psalm Ixiii. 1, 2....0 God^ thou art 
viij God ; early zvill I .svtk thee : viij sold thirstethfor thee : viy 
Jlesh lon^cthfor thee in a dry and thirsty land, xvhere no xvater 
in.... To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in 
the sanctuary. Verse S....My soul foUoxvcih hard after thee. 
A holy rejoicing in God. Hab. iii. IT, 18.,.. Although the fig' 
tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the -vine ; the la- 
bor of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat ; the 
fock shall he cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in 
the stalls.. ..2~et I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God 
of my salvation. Finally, from this delight in God arises a ho- 
ly disposition to renounce all other things, and live wholly up- 
on him, and take up everlasting content in him, and in him 
alone. Psalm Ixxiii. 25, 26. ...Whom have I in heaven but thee ? 
and there is none upcn earth that I desire besides thee....My flesh 
and mxj heart failcth : but God is the strength of my heart, and 
my portion forever. The vain man takes content in vain com- 
pany ; the worldly man takes content in riches ; the ambitious 
man in honor and applause ; the philosopher in philosophical 
speculations ; the 1l.j';;iI hypocrite in his round of duties ; the 
evangelical hypocrite in his experiences, his discoveries, his 
joys, his rapiures, and confident expectation of heaven : But 
the true lover of God takes his content in God himself. Psalm 
iv. 6, 7. And thus we see what is implied in love to God. 

And now, that this is a right representation of the nature of 
that love which is required in the first and great commandment 
of the law, upon which chiefly all the law and the prophets- 
hang, is manifest, not only from the reason of the thing, and 
from what has been already said, but also from this, that such 
A love to God as this lays a sure and firm found<ition for all ho- 
ly obedience. That love to God is of the right kind, which will 
tilcctually influence us to keep his commands, fohnxv. \A. 
I. John ii. 3, 4, 5. But it is evident, from the nature of things, 
that such a love as this will eflectually influence us to do so. 
As self-love naturally causes us to set up self and seek self-intcr- 
e6t,sothis love to God will naturally influence uato set up God 


and seek his interest. As dcliglu in the world naturalU makes 
us seek aftcrtht- enjo\ niiiitof the world, so this delight in (.od 
w ill nalundly influence us to seek after tile enjoy n»ent ol God : 
And while we love Ciod primarily Tor being what he is, wc 
cannot but, Tor the same reason, love his law, which is a trans- 
cript ol' his nature, and love to conform to it. If we loved him 
only from self-love, from the fear of hell, or from the hopes of 
iieaven, we might,at the same time, hate his law : but if we love 
him for being what he is, we camiot but love to be like him ; 
which is what his law requires, 'i'o suppose that a man loves 
God supremely for what he is, and yet does not love to belike 
him, is iui evident contradiction. It isto suppose a thing supreme- 
ly loved ; and yet, at the same time, not loved at all : So that, 
to a demonstration, this is the very kind of love which the Lord 
our God requires of us. So, saints in heaven love God perfectly, 
andso the good man on earth begins, in a weak and feeble manner, 
to love God : for there is but one kind of love required in the 
law ; and so but one kind of love which is of the right sort: for 
no kind of love can be of the right sort, but that very kind of 
love which the law requires : There is, therefore, no difference 
between their love in heaven, and ours here upon earth, but 
only in degree. 




II. I now proceed to shew more particularly y/c/m w/uit ino- 
iives xve are required thus to love God. Indeed, I have done 
this in part alread)' ; for I ha\ e been obliged all along, in shew- 
ing what is implied in love to God, to keeji mv eye upon the first 
and chief ground and reason oi love, namely, w hat God is in 
himself. But Uiere are other considerations which increase our 
obligations to love him and live to him ; which ougljt, there- 
fore, to come into the account : And I design here to take a 
general view of all the reasons and motives which ought to in- 
fluence us to love the Lord our God ; all which aie implied in 



those words, Tiic Lordthij God. Tfioii shall love the Lord thy 
God with all thy hearty i. e. because he is the Lord and our God. 
1 . The first and chief motive which is to influence us to love 
God with all our hearts, is liis infinite dignity and greatness^glo- 
ry and excelleyicy ; or, in one word, his injinitc amiableness. — 
We are to love him with all our hearts, because he is the Lord 
— because he is what he is, and just such a Being as he is. — On 
this account, primarily, and antecedent to all other considera- 
tions, he is infinitely amiable ; and, therefore, on this account, 
primarily, and antecedent to all other considerations, ought he 
to appeiu: infinitely amiable in our eyes. This is the first and 
chief reason and ground upon which his knv is founded, I am 
THE Lord... f£AW. xx. 2. — X^u. xix.J This, therefore, ought 
to be the first and chief motive to influence us to obey. The 
principal reason which moves him to require us to love him, 
ought to be the piincipal motive of our love. If the fundamen- 
tal reason of his requiring us to love him with all our hearts, is 
because he is what he is, and yet the bottom of our love be some- 
thing else, then our love is not what his law requires, but a thing 
of quite another nature : Yea, if the foundation of our love to 
God is not because he is what he is, in truth, we love him not 
at all. If I feel a sort of respect to one of my neighbors, who 
is very kind to me, and either do not know what sort of man 
he is, or, if I do, yet do not like him, it is plain, it is his kind- 
nesses I love, and not his person ; and all my seeming love to 
him is nothing but self-love in another shape : And let him 
cease being kind to me, and my love will cease : Let him cross 
me, and I shall hate him. Put forth thine hand non\ and touch 
all that he hath^ and he xuill curse thee to thy face, (Job i. 11), 
said the devil concerning fob ; and, indeed. Job would have done 
so, had not his love to God taken its rise from another motive than 
(iod's kindnesses to him. But why need I multiply words ? 
For it seems even self-evident that God's loveliness ought to 
be tlie first and chief thing for which we love him. 

Now, God is infinitely lovely, because he is what he is ; or, 
in other words, his infinite dignity and greatness, glory and ex- 


cellency, arc the result of his naiiual and moral perfections -. 
So that it is a clear sight and realizing sense of his natural and 
moral perfections, as they arc revealed in his works and in his 
word, that make him appear, to a holy soul, as a Iking of in- 
finite dignity and greatness, gloiy and excellency. 'I hujj, the 
Queen of Shcba^ seeing and conversing with Solomon^ and view- 
ing his works, under a sense of the large and noble endow- 
ments of his minil, was even ravished ; and cried out, Tlic oitc 
half was not told me ! And thus the holy and divinely enlight- 
ened soul, upon seeing God, reading his word, and meditating 
on his wonderful works, under a sense of his divine and in- 
comprehensible perfections, is ravished with his infinite dignity, 
majest}', greatness, glory and excellency ; and loves, admires, 
and adores ; and sa\s, Who if a God like unto thee / 

His natural perfections are, 

(1.) His inf nit e wider standing, whereby he knows himself, 
and all things possible, and beholds all things past, present and 
to come, at one all-comprehensive view. So that, from ever- 
lasting to everlasting, his knowledge can neither increase nor 
diminish, or his views of things suffer the least variation ; being 
alwavs absolutely complete, and consequently necessarily al- 
wavs the same. 

(2.) His almighty power, whereby he is able, wiUi infinite 
ease, to do any thing that he pleases. 

And his moral perfections are, 

(1.) His injinitc wisdsm, whereby he is able, and is inclined 
to contrive and order all things, in all worlds, for the best ends^ 
and after the best manner. 

(2.) His perfect holiness, whereby he is inclined infmitely to 
love right, and hate wrong : Or, according to scripture-phrase, 
to lo'je righteousness and hate inicjuiti/. 

(3.) His impart'ud justice, whereby he is unchangeably in- 
clined to render to ever)- one according to his deseits. 

(4.) His infinite goodness, whereby he can find in his heart 
to besto.v the gi-eatest favors upon his creatures, if he pleases ; 
and is inclined to bestow all that is best, all tilings consulcr.d. 


(5.) His truth and faithfulness^ whereby he is inclined to 
fulfil all his will, according to his word; So that there is an ever- 
lasting harmony between his will, his word, and his performance. 
And his being, and all his natural and moral perfections, 
and his glory and blessedness, which result from them, he has 
in himself, and of himself, underived ; and is necessarily infi- 
nite, eternal, unchangeable, in all ; and so, absolutely indepen- 
dent, self-sufficient and all-sufficient. 

" This is the God, whom we do love ! 

" This is the God, whom we adore ! 

" III liim we trust. him we live ; 

" He is our all, for evermore. 
Now there are three ways by which the perfections of God are 
discovered to the children of men : By his works, by his word, and 
by his spirit. By the two first, we see him to be what he is ; — by 
the last, we behold his infinite glory in beingsuch : — The two first 
produce a speculative knowledge ; thelast,asenseofmoralbeauty. 

First. These perfections of God are discovered by his works, 
i. e. by his creating, preserving, and governing the world; and by 
his redeeming, sanctifying, and savi7ig his people. 

1. By his creating the xvorld. He it is, who has stretched 
abroad the heavens as a curtain, and spread them out as a tent 
to dwell in. ...who has created the sun, moon and stars, and 
appointed them their courses.. ..who has hung the earth upon 
nothing... .who has fixed the mountains, and bounded the seas, 
and formed every living creature. All the heavenly hosts he 
hath made, and created all the nations that dwell upon the earth : 
and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and the fishes 
of the sea, and every creeping thing, are the works of his hands : 
and the meanest of his works are full of unsearchable wonders, 
far surpassing our understanding : So that the invisible things 
of God, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being 
understood hy the things that are made, even his eternal poxvcr 
and Godhead : As St. Paul observes, in Rom. i. 20. 

2, By his preserving the xvorld. His eyes run to and Iro 
throughout all tin- world, beholding every diing. His eyes ;ue 


upon nil his works ; so that even the sparrows arc not forgotten 
hv him, and tlic very hairs of our head are all numbered : And 
he holds all things in being ; and the opening of his hand fills 
the desires of even- living creature : CNcn the whole family of 
heaven and earth live upon his goodness, and are maintained by 
his Ixjunty : In a word, his infinite understanding sees all.. ..his 
infinite power upholds all. ...his infinite wisdom takes care of 
all, and his infinite goodness provides for all — and that every 
moment ; so Uiat the invisible things of God are discovered in 
preserving as well as in creating the world : And hence, when 
the pious P.siUmist meditates on the works of creation and pres- 
ervation, lie sees God in them, and views his perfections, and 
is touched at heart with a sense of his glory ; and is filled with 
high and exalted, and with admiring and adoring thoughts of 
God. So, Psalm xix. I....77/f licavens dixlarc the glory of the 
Z,or</, &c. And Psalm xc v. \....0 come let us sing unto the 
Lord^ &<i. — But why ? — Verse 3. ..For the Lord is a great God^ 
and a great King, above all gods. — But how does this appear ? 
Why, (ver. 4, 5.) In his hand are the dec ft places of the earth ; 
the strength of the hills is his also : The sea is his, and he made it ; 
and his hands formed the drij land : Ver. 6...^, therefore, come 
let us worship and hoxv down ; let us kneel btfore the Lord our 
Maker. And again, in Psal. xcvi. 1....0 sing unto the Lord a 
nexv song : sing unto the Lord, all the earth. — But why ? — Ver. 
4-.. .For the Lord is great, and great I ij to be praised : Heis to be 
feared above all gods. — But wherein does this appear ? — Wh)', 
(ver. 5.) xUl the gods of the nations are idols ; but the Lord made 
the heavens. And once more, in Psal. civ. 1, 2, he. ...Bless the 
Lord, my soul. — But why \....'FiiOU art very great : thou art 
clothed with honor and majesty. — But how does this appear ? — 
Why, Thou hast stretched out the heavens as a curtain. And 
ver. 5. ...And laid the foundations of the earth, that it cannot be 
removed for ever. And ver. 27.... All wait upon thee, that thou 
mayest give tliem their meat in due season. Ver. 28.... That thou 
givest them, they gather : thou openest thy hand, they are filled 
with good. — And throughout the whole J\^almhc is meditating 


on the creation and preservation of the world ; and viewing the 
divine perfections therein discovered, and admiring the divine 
glor)', and wondering and adoring ; and finally concludes with, 
Bless the Lord^ my soul : Praise ye the Lord. But 

3. His perfections are still much more eminoitly displayed in 
that moral government which he maintains over the intelligent 
part of the creation ; especially his moral perfections. In the 
works of nature his natural perfections are to be seen : but, in 
his moral government of the world, he acts out his heart, and 
shews the temper of his mind : Indeed, all the perfections of 
God are to be seen in the work of creation, if we view angels 
and men, and consider what they were, as they came first out 
of his hands — holy and pure : But still God's conduct towards 
them, under the character of their King and Govenior, more ev- 
idently discovers the very temper of his heart. As the tree is 
known by the fruit, so God's moral perfections may be known 
by his moral government of the world. The whole world was 
created for a stage, on which a variety of scenes were to be open- 
ed ; in and by all which, God designed to exhibit a most exact 
image of himself : For, as God loves himself infinitely for be- 
ing what he is, so he takes infinite delight in acting forth and ex- 
pressing all his heart. He loves to see his nature and image 
shine in all his works, and to behold the whole world filled with 
his glory ; and he perfectly loves to have his conduct, the whole 
of it taken together, an exact resemblance of himself ; and in- 
finitely abhors, in his public conduct, in the least to counteract 
the temptr of his heart ; so as, by his public conduct, to seem 
to be what indeed he is not : So that, in his moral government 
of the world, we may see his inward disposition, and discern 
the true nature of n)oral perfections : And indeed ail his 
pt-rfections are herein discovered ; particularly, 

( I .) His infinite understanding. High on his throne in heav- 
en he siis, and all his vast dominions lie open to his \ ifw: His 
all-sei ing eve views all his courts above, and sees under the 
whole heavens, looks through the earth, and pierces all the dark 
caverns of hell ; so that his acquaintance with all worlds and all 


things is absolutely perfect and complete : He can behold all 
the solemn worship of heaven, and tlic inmost thoughts of all 
that great assembly : he can behold all the sin, misery- and ton- 
fusion that overspread the uhole earth, and the inmost temper of 
ever)' mortal ; and look through hell, and see all the rebellion, and 
blasphemy, and cunning devices of those inlemal fiends ; — and 
all this at one all-comprehending \ iew : And thus, as high Ciov- 
cnior of die whole world, he continually beholds all things ; 
>\ hereby a foundation is laid for the exercise of all his other per- 
fections in his government over all. See the omniscience of 
God elegandy described in PsaL cxxxix. 1 — 12. And being 
perfectly acquainted with himself, as well as with all his crea- 
tures, he cannot but see what conduct from him towards them, 
will, all things considered, be most right, and fit, and amiable, 
and most becoming such an one as he is ; and also what conduct 
from them to him is his due ; and their dutw By his infinite 
understanding, he is perfectly acquainted with right and wrong 
— with what is fit, and what unfit : And, by the moral rectitude 
of his nature, he infinitely loves the one and hates the other, 
and is disposed to con Juct accordingly ;— of which more pres- 
ently. Psal. cxlvii. \.... Praise ije the Lord, for it is good to sing 
praises unto our God ; for it is plea.'.anty and praise is corneh,: 
— But why ? — Ver. 5. ..Great is our Lord a7ui of great power ; 
His UNorRSTANDiNG IS iNTiMTE. — But whercin does that aj>- 
pear ? — ^Vh^•, (ver. 4.) He telletli the number of the stars ; he 
calleth them all by their names. Now, if the infinite under- 
standing of God maybe seen in this one particular, much more 
is it in the regular ordering and dispcsingof;ill things, through- 
out the whole universe ; and that, not only in the luUiiral^ but 
also in the 7norul world. 

(2) His infinite power is displayed in the government ofthc 
world : For he does according to his pleasure in the armies of 
heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth ; so that none 
can stay his hand, or hinder the execution ofhis designs. Have 
rebellions broken out in any part of his dominions ? — he hiis 
manifestly had the rebels entirely in his hands : The\ have lain 


absolutely at his mercy ; and he has dealt with them according 
to his sovereign pleasure ; and none has been able to make any 
resistance ; nor has there been any to deliver tliem out of his 
hands. When rebellion broke out in heaven, he crushed the 
rebels in a moment : They fell beneath the weight of his hand 
...they felt his power.. ..they despaired. ..they sunk to hell ; and 
there he reserves them in chains ; nor can they stir from their 
dark abode, but by his special permisbion. And when rebel- 
lion broke out upon earth, the rebels were equally in his hands, 
and at his mercy, unable to make any resistance ; although he 
was pleased, in his infinite wisdom, to take another method with 
them : But he has since discovered his po^er, in treading 
down his implacable enemies, under foot, many a time : He 
destroyed the old world, burned Sodom^ drowned Pharaoh and 
his hosts, and turned Nebuchadnezzar into a beast. If his en- 
emies have exalted themselves, yet he has been above them — 
brought them down ; and discovered to all the world that they 
are in his hands, and without strength, at his disposal : Or if he 
has suffered them to go on and prosper, and exalt themselves 
greatly, yet still he has been above them, and has accomplished 

his designs by them, and at last has brought them down 

Haughty Nebuchadnezzar^ when he had broken the nations to 
pieces, as if he had been the hammer of the whole earth, now 
thought \\\\rLSQM somebody ; and Alexander the Great, when con- 
quering the world, aspired to be thought the son of Jupiter : 
But the most high God, the great and almighty Governor of 
the world, alwaj s had such scourges of mankind only as a rod in 
his hand, with which he has executed judgment upon a wicked 
world. Hoivbvit^ they vieant not so^ neither did their hearts think 
so : But it was in their hearts to gratify their aml)ition, axaricc, 
and revenge. However, he was above them ; and always such 
have been, in his hands, as the ax is in the hands of him that 
hirueth therewith^ or as the saiv is in the hands of him that shalccth 
it ; or as the rod is in the hand of him that Ufteth it up. And 
when he has done with the rod, he always breaks it and btirns it : 
See Isaiah x. 5 — 19. 


And as this great King has discovered his almighty power, 
by crushing rebclhons in his kingdom, and sulxluing rebels, so 
he has, also, in protecting his Iriends, and working dehverancc 
for his people : He made a path tor his people through the sea ; 
he led tliem through the wilderness : He gave them water to 
drink out of the rock ; and fed them with angels' food : In the 
day time he led them by a cloud, and all the night with the light 
of fire : He brought them to the promised land, and drove out 
the heathen before them ; and, in all their distresses, whenever 
they cried unto him, he delivered them : And as the supreme 
Governor of the world, in thp days of old, did thus discover his 
almightv power in governing among his intelligent creatures, 
so he is still, in various ways and manners, in his providential 
dispensations, evidently discovering that he can do all things : 
And his people see it and believe it ; and admire and adore : — 
Read Psal. cv. 

(3.) Again, His infinite wisdom is discovered in an endless 
variety of instances — in all his government throughout all his 
dominions — in his mianaging all things to the glory of his INIa- 
jest} the good of his loyal subjects, and to the confusion 
of his foes. There has never any thing happened in all his do- 
minions, and never will, but has been, and shall !)c made entire- 
ly subser\ient to his honor and glory : Even the contempt cast 
upon him by his rebellious subjects, he turns to his greater glo- 
ry ; as in the case of Pharaoh^ who set up himself against God, 
and said. Who is the Lord^ that I should obeij him ? I knoxv not 
the Lord, nor xvill I let Israel go. And he exalted himself, and 
dealt proudly and haugiitily ; and hardened his heart, and was 
resolved he would not regard God, nor be bowed nor conquer- 
ed by him ; for he despised him in his heart: But the more he 
carried himself, as if there were no God, the more were the be- 
ing and perfections of God made manifest ; for the more he 
hardened his heart — the more stout and stubborn he was, the 
more God honored himself in subduing him : Yea, God, in his 
infinite wisdom, suffered him to be as high and huught}' — as 

stout and stubborn as he pleased '; he took off all restraints from 



him — nei-mitted the magicians to imitate the miracles of Mo- 
seSy so that Pharaoh^ in seeing, might not see, nor be convinced ; 
and he ordered that the plagues should last but for a short sea- 
son, that Pharaoh might have respite ; and thus it was that God 
hardened his heart : And God, in his infinite wisdom, did all 
this with a view to his own glory ; as he tells Pharaoh by the 
hand of Moses — " Suth and such plagues I design to bring up- 
on you, and to do so, and so, with you." And^ indeed, Jcr this 
cause have I rained thee np^for to sfiexu in thee ymj power ^ and 
thai, my name may he declared throughout all the earth... ^xo^, ix. 
16 : And, accordingly, God was illusti-iously honored, at last, 
upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, at the Red Sea ; and the 
Egyptians., and all the neighboring nations, were made to know 
that he was the Lord ; and his name became dreadful among 
the heathen : And we find that, in three or four hundred years 
after, the Philistines had not forgotten it ; for, when the ark^ in 
the days of ^/i, was carried into the camp of Israel., the Philis- 
tines were sore afraid, and said, " God is come into the camp : 
Woe unto us : Who shall deliver us out of the hands of these 
mighty Gods ? These are the Gods that smote the Egyptians 
with all the plagues in the wilderness," &c.... I Sam. iv. 

So God wisely ordered and over-ruled all things, that befcl 
the children of Israel in the wilderness, to accomplish the ends 
he had in view : His designs were to get himself a great name, 
and fill the whole earth with his glory (Num. xiv. 21.) ; and to 
try and humble his people, and make ^icm know, that it was 
not for their righteousness that he brought them into the land of 
Ca7iaa7i^ (Dettt. ix.) And every thing that came to pass, for 
tliose forty years, was admirably calculated to attain these ends. 
The news of Pharuoli^s overihrow — of God's coming down 
upon Mount Sinai, in the presence of all Israel, and abiding 
there so long a time, with such awful majesty ; and of the pil- 
lar of cloud by day, and of fire by night — of the manna — of the 
water flowing out of a rock, and following them — of their mur- 
murings and insuircctions, and God's judgments upon them ; — 
I say, the news of ih;ise, and other things of Uiis nature, tliat 


Iwppcned to them for those forty years, flow all the world over, 

and filled :dl the n.iih)ns of iht; eardi w'uh the tjrcatest astonish- 
ment ; and la.idc them think there was no God like the God of 
/*raf/...(Numb. xiv. IJ, 14, IJ.) By all these Uiings, and by 
God's bringing his people, at lust, to the possession <jf the land 
of Canaan^ according to his promise, there was exhibited a spe- 
cimen of God's infinite knowledge, power, wisdom, holiness, jus- 
tice, goodness and truth ; ;uid that before the C)es of all the na- 
tions : And so the whole earth was filled with his glory ; i. e, 
widi the clear manifesiaiiuns of those perfections in which liis 
glory consists. And thus his great end was obtained : And, 
ui the mean time, all liie wanderings, and trials, and sins, and 
sorrows of the children oi Israel^ together with all the wonder- 
ful works which their eyes beheld, and wherein God discover- 
ed himseU for those forty years, had a natural tendency to try 
them, to humljle them, and break their hearts ; and make them 
know, that, not for their righteousness, nor for the uprightness 
.of their hearts, did God, at last, shew them that great mercy : 
and to convince them of the exceeding great obiigwiions th;;y 
were under to love, and fear, and serve the Lord forever. And 
so, the other great end which God had in view was accompli;.h- 
C(i. ...Deut. viii. ix. Sc x. c/iap. — And now, all these things were 
by God wisely dune ; and in this his conduct, his inhaite wisdom 
is to be seen.* — And thus it is in all Ciod's dispensations, 
throughout all his dominions, with regard to the whole universe 
in general, and to every intelligent creature in particular. Hi«> 

* If God had so ordered that Abrabavi had been bom in the land of 
Caiiaar., and his posterity liaJ niultiiilied greatly, and the other nation ., 
gradually, by sicknesses and wars, had wasted awav and come to nothing;, 
until there were none but the posterity of Abnibaiii left, avid they h-*d 
tilled tlie land, G >ci'3 hand then would not have been seen. ...none of these 
excelleat ends aituined....all would have been r-*. Ived into natural cau3c«. God contrived where Abraham should be born — how he shouiJ his Ovvu country — have a jironiisc of the land of L'unaan s ai.d \\ow 
his seed should come to b-j in E^yfjt — come to be in great bondage and dis- 
tress ; how he would send, ana how he would deliver them, and how liiey 
should carry them.elves, and what should happen ; and how every thing 
should turn out at last : he laid the wh(.le plan, with a view to those ex- 
cellent eiida his eye was upor4. It was wisely c mtrived, and, when it taiiiC 
to b« acted over, his inlinite wisdom was discovered. 


works arc all done in wisdom ; and so his infinite wisdom is 
discovered in all : And hence Gcd appears infinitely glorious 
in the eyes of his -people.... Deut. xxxii. 3, 4. — Psal. civ. 24,. & 
cv. 1, 45. — I Cor. i. 24, 31. 

(4.) Again, His infinite purity and holiness is also discover- 
ed in his government of the world — in all that he has done to 
establish right, and discountenance wrong, throughout all his do- 
minions. His creating angels and men in his own image, witli 
his law written on their hearts, manifested his disposition, and 
showed what he was pleased with : But his public conduct, as 
moral Governor of the world, has more evidently discovered 
the very temper of his heart ; and shewn how he loves right 
and hates zurong, to an infinite degree. Governors, among men, 
discover much of their disposition, and show what they love 
and what they hate, by their laws ; and they show how fervent 
their love and hatred is, by all the methods they take to enforce 
them ; and so does the great Governor of the world : By his 
laws — ^by his promises and threatenings — by his past conduct^ 
and declared designs for the future, he manifests how he loves 
moral good and hates moral evil. 

By his infinite understanding, he is perfectly acquainted with 
himself, and with all his intelligent creatures ; and so perfectly 
knows what conduct in him towards them is right, fit and ami- 
able, and such as becomes such a one as he is ; and also, perfectly 
knows what conduct in his creatures towards him, and towards 
each other, is fit and amiable, and so their duty. He sees what is 
right, andinfinitelylovesit, because it is right: He sees what is 
wrong, and infinitely hates it, because it is wrong ; and, in his 
whole conduct, as Governor of the world, he appears to be just 
what he is at heart — an infinite friend to right, and im infinite 
enemy to wrong. 

He takes state. ...sets up himself as a God.. ..bids all the world 
adore him, love and obey him, with all their hearts — and that 
upon pain of eternal damnation, in case of the least defect ; and 
promises eternal life and glory, in case of perfect obedience. 
This is the language of his law, 'jyiotl shall love the Lord thy 


Goii rvith all thy hearty an J thy neighbor as thyself : Do this^ 
and live ; disobey, and Jit: And now all that infinite esteem 
IbrluiTiseU, and intinite rcgiird for his own honor, w hich he here- 
in manifests, does not result from a proud or a selfish spirit ; for 
there is no such thing in his nature : Nor does he threaten dam- 
nation for sin, because it hurts him ; or promise eternal life to 
obedience, because it docs him any good : for he is infiiiitely 
above us, and absolutely independent of us, and cannot receive 
advantage or disadvantge from us. ...Job xxii. 2, 3. and xxxv. 6, 
7. But it results from the ill Unite holiness of his nature. He 
loves and honors himself as he does, because, since he is what 
he is, it is right and fit he should : He bids the world adore 
love and obey iiim with all their hearts, because, considering 
what he is, and what they are, it is infinitely fit and right : He 
commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, because this al- 
so, in the nature of things, is right : And while he promises 
eterniU life to the obedient, and threatens eternal damnation to 
the disobedient, he shows how infinitely he loves righte usness 
and hates iniquity. His promising eternal life and glory to 
perfect obedience, does indeed manifest the infinite goodness 
and bountifulness of his nature ; but then his promising f///, un- 
der the notion of a reivard, disco\ ers this temper of his heart 
....his infinite love to right. 

As to all his positive injunctions, they arc evidently designed 
to promote a conformity to die moral law. And as to the mor- 
al law, it is originally founded upon the very reason ?.nd nature 
of diings. The duties required therein are required, original- 
ly, because they are right in themselves : And the sins forbid- 
den, are forbidden, originally, because they are unfit and wrong 
in themselves. The intrinsic fitness of the things required, and 
the intrinsic unfitness of the things forbidden, was the original 
ground, reason and foundation of his law. Thus, he bids all the 
world love him with all their hearts, because he is the Lord their 
God ; and love one another as biethren, because thev are all 
children of the same common father, having the same nature. 
He requires this supreme love to himself, and this mutual love 


among his subjects, because it is right that so it should be ; and 
because he perfectly loves that the thing that is right should be 
done. ...and not from any advantage that can possibly accrue unto 
him from the behavior of his creatures. And he forbids the 
contrary, because it is wrong, and therefore infinitely hateful in 
his sight.... and not because it could be any disadvantage to 
him. — All the glory and blessedness which he bestows upon the 
angels in heaven, under the notion of a rexvard to their obedicncey 
is not because their obedience does him any good ; for it does 
not : nor because they deserve any thing from his hands ; for 
they do not : (Rom. xi. 35, 35. J but merely because it is right 
that they should, in all things, obey him : This is what he loves, 
and what he delights to honor : And all the infinite, eternal 
glories of heaven can but just serve as a sufficient testimony of 
his approbation. — So, on the other hand, it was not in a passion, 
or from sudden, rash revenge, (which many times iniluences 
sinful men to cruel and barbarous deeds), that he turned those 
that sinned down to hell ; and,. for their first offence, doomed 
them to everlasting woe, without the least hope ; for there is no 
such thing in his nature. As he is not capable of being injured, 
as we are, so neither is he capable of such anger as we feel. 
No : the thing they did was in itself infinitely wrong, and that 
was the true and only cause of his infinite displeasure ; which 
infinite displeasure he meant to declare and make known in tho 
sight of all worlds, throughout the endless ages of eternity, by 
rendering to them according to their deserts : For he loves to 
appear as great ;m enemy to sin, in his conduct, as he is in his 
heart. He loves to act out his heart, and exhibit a true image 
of himself. His infinite love of righteousness and hatred of in- 
iquity, is also displayed in his promising etcrn-cd life and bless- 
edness to Adam and to all his race, a whule world of beings, as a 
rcivard io the obedience oi Adam — by him constituted public 
head and representative, on the one hand ; and threateningeter- 
nal destruction to him andallliisracc, awiiole worldofl)eings, 
in case of tlie least transgression, on the other hand. But his 
infinite love to righteousness, and hatred of iniquity, is manifest* 


ed in the greatest perfection, in the death of Jesus Christ, his on- 
ly he^jotten son : But of this more afterwards. — In a word, all 
tlic blessings which he has granted to the godly in Uiis world, as 
rewards of their virtue... .to AM^ Enoch, and Noah... .10 Lot,... 
to Abraham^ Jhuic antl ^Jacob., &c. and all the judgments which 
he has executed upon the wicked. ...his turning Aihmowx. of par- 
adise. ...drowning the old world. ...burning Sodom., &c. together 
with all the evils which befel the children of Lracl., in the wil- 
derness — in the time of the judges — in the reigns of tluir kings 
....and their long captivity in Babijbn^ 8cc. have all been public 
testimonies diat the righteous Lord loveth righteousness, and 
hatelh iniquity. — And, in heaven and in hell, he designs to dis- 
play, to all eternity, in the most glorious and dreadful manner, 
how infinitely he loves righteousness and hates iniquity. 

Now when true believers, who are divinely enlightened, med- 
itate on and view the laws, the conduct, and the declared designs 
of the great Governor of the world, they love, admire and adore, 
and say, Hohj^ hoUj., I^oly., Lord God ofhosts^ the whole ivorld is 
full of thy ghrif. This divine disposition, to love righteous- 
ness and hate iniqviit)-, which the great Governor of the world 
thus discoviTs in all his government, appears infinitely beautiful 
and glorious, excellent, and amiable in their eyes : Whence thev 
are ready to say. Who is like unto t/we, Lord, among the gods? 
Who is like unto thee ^ glorious in holiness^ &cc....As they do in 
Exod. XV. 11.* 

• If we should suppose (as some do), that there is nothing r/^/jt or "arorg 
untecedent to a consideration of ihe positive will and Iww of Cod, th.e great 
governor of the world ; and that } i^bt and virovg result, originally, from his 
sovereign v^il/ and absolute autbority entirely, then these a'usurdiiies would 
unavoidably fellow : 

1. 7'bat the moral perfections of God arc empty names, ivitbout anv tigniji- 
cation at all. For if there be no intrinsic inoral fi'ness and uniitness in 
things, no right nor wrong, then there is no such thing as viorcl heauty or 
inoral deformity ,- and so, no foundation, in the nature cf things, for any 
inoral propensity ; i. c. there is nothing for God to love or hate, considered 
as a mural a^e:.t. There can be no inclination or disposl ion in himtolcve 
right and haie wrong, if there be no such thing as right or wrong. So 
that the only idea we could frame of God, would be that of an a'.migh'y, des- 
potic sovereign, who makes his own will his cnly rule, without anv regard to 
riglitor wrong, good or evil, just or unjust. idea of the intinirely glorious 
and ever-blessed God, evidently as contrary to truih as can be devised. 

-2. That, 


(5.) His impartial justice is also discovered in his moral gov- 
ernment of the world. He appears, in his public conduct, as 
one infinitely engaged to give to every one his due, and as one 
absolutely governed by a spirit of the most perfectly disinterest- 
ed impartiality : He appears as one infinitely engaged to main- 
tain the rights of the Godhead, and to secure that glory to the 
divine Being that is his proper due ; and that by the law which 
he has estaljlished, in heaven and on earth, binding all to love, 
worship and obey him, as God, upon pain of eternal damnation : 
And so, again, he appears as one infinitely engaged to secure all 
his subjects here upon earth in a quiet and peaceable posses- 
sion of their own proper rights; and that by strictly enjoin- 

2. That, in the nature oftbings, there is no more reason to love and obey God, 
than there is to hate and disobey /jivi .- there being, in the nature of things, no 
right nor wrong. Just as if God was not infinitely worthy of our highest 
esteem and most perfect obedience ! andjust as if, inthe nature of things, 
there was no reason why Ave should love and obey him, but merely because he 
is the greatest and strongest, and says we must ! than which nothing can 
be more evidently absurd. But if these things are so, then it will fellow, 

.3. That there is no reason nvhy he should rer/tiire his creatures to love and obey 
him, or forbid the cmitrary ; or ii^hy he should rev:ard the one, or punish the 
other : there being, in the nature of things, no right nor wrong : and so the 
foundation of God's law and government is overturned, and all religion 
torn up by the roots ; and nothing is left but arbitrary tyranny and servile 
subjection.... all expressly contrary to Gen. xviii. 25 — Hcb. i. 9 — Eph. v'l.l 
— Jiovi. xii. 1 — I\'ev.'\v. 11 — Jiom. \ii- 12 — Jiom.n. 4,5, 6 — Kev. xix. 1, 6 
■ — Ezcf-. xviii. 25. 

Or again, if we should suppose (as others do), that there is nothing right 
or viroiig, antecedent to a consideration of the general good of the whole 
system of intelligent created beings ; and that right and wror^ result, ori- 
ginally and entirely, from the natural tendency of things to i)romotc, or 
hinder the general good of the whole : then, also, these manifest absurditic* 
will iniavoidabl) follow : 

1 . That the vwral perfections of God entirely consist in, or result from a dit- 
Jfosition to love his creatures supremely, and seek their happiness as his only end : 
just as if it became the most high to make a God of his creatures, and 
himself their servant ! cxpres.sly contrary to Rom. xi. 36 — Numb, xiv — 
liev. iv. 11. 

2. 7' hat God loves virtue and rexvanli it, merely because it tends to make hi* 
creatures happy ; and hates vice and punishes it, merely because it tends to make 
his creatures Diiserable : just as if he had no regard to the rights of the 
Godhead, nor cared how much contempt was cast upon the glorious ma- 
jesty of Heaven ! cx])rcs;.ly contrary to A'aW. xxxii. — Numb. xiv. — I Sam. 
ii. 29, .10—11 Sam. xii. 10, U— Psalm li. 4. 

3. 7'hiit he rcfuircs us to love and obey him, merely because it fends to make 
w.t happy, amif.irbids the contrary merely because it tends to viake us miserable .■ 
just as if he liad no sense of the inJinile glory and excellency of his nature, 
and our infmite obligations to love and obey him thenoe arising ! andjust 
as if he thought it no crime in us, to treat him with the greatest contempt ! 



ing even,' one to love his neighbor as himself, and always do 
as he would be done b\-, and tluit upon pain of eternal damna- 
tion. ...Go/, iii. 10. — Dcut. xxvii. 26. And he appears as one 
governed by a spirit of the most pcrfectiy disinterested impar- 
tiality, in that he spared not the angels that sinned, who were 
some of the noblest ol all his creatures ; and in that he is deter- 
mined not to spare impenitent sinners at the day of judgment, 
though they cry ever so earnestly for mercy ; but, above all, in 
that he spared not his only begotten Son, when he stood in the 
room of sinners, li ever any poor, guilty wretch, round the 
world, feels tempted to think that God is cruel for damning sin- 
ners, and does not do as he would be done by, if he was in their 
case, and they in his, let him come away to the cross of Christ, and 

anil just as if nothing could raise his resentment but merely the injury- 
done to ourselves ! expressly contrary xoNutnh- xiv. — WSatn. xii. 10, 14, &t. 

4. 7'bat we are under no obligations to love God, but merely because it tends 
to make us happy ; and that it is no crime to hate and blaspheme God, but 
merely because it tends to make us miserable. But if so, then the misery 
which naturally results from hating and blaspheming God, is exactly equal 
to the crime ; and therefore no positive inHicted j^unishment is deserved 
in this world, or in that which is to come. And, therefore, all the punish- 
ments which God inHicts upon sinners in this world, and forever in Hell, 
are entirely undeserved : and so his law and government, instead of being 
holy, just and good, are infinitely unreasonable, tyrannical and cruel. — 
To say, that God punishes some of his sinful creatures, merely to keep 
others in awe, whenas they do nut, in the least, deserve any punishment, is to 
suppose the great Governor of the world to doevil, that good may come ; and 
yet, at the same time, to take themost direct course to render himself odious 
throughout all his dominions. It is impossible to account for tlie punish- 
iTients which God has inHicted upon sinners in this world, and designs to 
inHict upon them forever in hell, without supposing that there is an infinite 
evil in sin, over and above what results from its natural tendency to make us 
miserable : and that, there fore, we are under infinite obligations to love and 
obey God, antecedent to any consideration of its tendency to ma!:e us hajipy. 

From all which, it is evident, to demonstration, that right and wrong 
do neither result from the mere will and law of God, nor from any tend- 
ency of things to promote or hinder the happiness of God's creatures. It 
remains, therefore, that there is an intrinsic moral fitness and unfitness, 
absolutely in things themselves : as that we should love the infinitely glorious 
God, is, in the nature of things, infinitely fit and right ; and to hare and 
blaspheme him, is, in the nature of things, infinitely unfit and wrong : 
and that, antecedent to any consideration of advantage or di^.advantage, 
reward or punishment, or even of the will or law of God. And hence it 
is, that God infinittly loves right, and hates wrong, and ap])Parb so infinite- 
ly eng-aged to reward the one, and punish the other. And hence, his lav,' 
and government are holy, just and good... .they are gluriou^; ; and in and 
ky them the infinite gl'^rs of the divine nature shines forth. .../*•«. vi. 3. 
— Rev. iv. 8 — Rrv. six. 1 — 6. 


see God's own Son, his second self, there nailed up, naked, 
bleeding, groaning, dying, in the greatest possible contempt, ig- 
nominy and shame, before ten thousand insulting, blood-thirsty 
spectators ; and let him kncnv that this Jesus is God — a person 
of infinitely greater dignity and worth than all creatures in heav- 
en and earth put together, and infinitely dear to the great Gov- 
ernor of the world, even just as dear as his o\vn self, and upon 
whom he would not lay these sufferings any sooner than upon 
himself; — I say, let him stand, arid look, and gaze, and learn 
that God does exactly as he would be done by, when he damns 
sinners to all eternity, were he in their case, and they in his (if 
I may so say, when speaking of the most high God), since that 
for his own Son, a person of infinite dignity, to suffer all these 
things, is ec|ui\alent to the eternal torments of finite creatures : 
Indeed, it was not because he was not a Being of infinite good- 
ness, tliiit he treated his own Son so .; nor is it because he has no 
regard to his creatures'" happiness, that he designs to damn the 
finally impenitent ; but it is merely because sin is an infinite 
evil, and, according to strict justice, worthy of an infinite pun- 
ishment : It is right and fit that he should do as he does, and 
therefore his conduct will forever appear infinitely glorious and 
beautiful in the eyes ofall holy beings. Psalm xcvi. 11, 12, 13 
....Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad : Let the sea 
roar^ and the fulness thereof. Let the f eld he joyful^ and all 
that is therein : Then shallall the trees of the wood rejoice before 
the Lord : For he cometh^ for hccometh to judge the earth : He 
shall judge the xvorld xvith righteousness, and the people xvith his 
truth. See also J^ev. xix. 1 — 6. 

(6.) IJis ii finite goodness is also discovered in his government 
of the world ; for all the laws of this gicat and good Ciovcrnor 
are suited in their own nature to advance all his subjects to the 
highest perfection they are capable oC His law teaches us to 
view all things just as they are, and to have our will and affec- 
tions entirely governed by the truth — by the very reason and na^ 
turc of things : And so to be accordi)ig to the mcasiu-e of such 
finite creatures, in oui- wills and in the temperof our minds, alter 


the lmag«oftl^ blessed and glorious God, w'.iich is the hifjhest 
dignltv and perfection we are possibly capable of. Wlien ( tod 
commands us to be holy as he is holy, he enjoins that as our dutv 
which at the same time is our highest possible privilege. He 
bids us be like the angels, and begin oiu- heaven upon earth ; 
yea, even to participate of a glor\' and blessedness of the same 
nature with that which he himself enjoys ; To behold his glo- be ravished with lus heauty.... to esteem him supremely, 
live to him entirely, and delight in him superlatively, and to be- 
come like him in our views of things, and in tlic teniper of our 
minds, is our highest dignity, glory, and excellency, and our 
highest blessedness : And, besides, his laws are still further cal- 
culated to promote the welfare of his subjects, in that they are 
suited to esuibllsh universal love, peace and harmony, tlirougii- 
out all his dominions. Love tliij neighbor as thyself^ is one of 
the fundamental laws of his kingdom : And were his authority 
duly regarded, and his laws obeyed, love, and peace and harmo- 
ny, M'ith all their happy and blessed tflfccts, would reign through 
all the earth, as they do in heaven ; and paradise would not be 
confmed to Eden, nor to heaven, but be all over the world. 

And tlie wrath of this good Governor is only revealed against 
all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, which are the ra- 
in and debasement of our nature, and the destruction of our 
peace and happiness. He threatens damnation to his subjects, 
to keep them from destroying themselves, as well as to deter 
them from affronting his Majesty. All the dreadful threatea- 
ings of his law result not onlv from his holiness and justice, but 
also from the infuiite goodness of his nature ^ In that hereby his 
subjects are mercifully forwarned of the e\ll and bitter conse- 
quences of sin, to the end they may avoid it. He is a perfect 
enemy to hatred and revenge — to ciiielty and injustice : He 
cannot bear to see the widow or fatherless oppressed, or the 
poor despised, or the miserable insulted, or any evil tiling done 
among his subjects : And therefore this good Governor has 
threatened tribulation and anguish, indignation and wrath, 
against every soul that doth evfl ; and, with all his authority, 


has commanded his subjects, through all this world, upon paia 
of eternal damnation, to do as they would be done by. 

And then, still further to engage his subjects to that in which 
their greatest glory and blessedness consists, he, in his law, 
promises eternal life to the obedient : wherein the infinite boun- 
tifulness of his nature, as well as his unspeakable concern for 
his creatures' welfare is discovered. 

And if we survey his conduct towards mankind, from the be- 
ginning, we may, in ten thousand instances, see the infinite good- 
ness of his nature displayed. If we consider what his ways 
have been towards an apostate world — ^how he has given his 
Son to be a Redeemer, and his spirit to be a sanctifier — how he 
has sent all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending ; 
and that notwithstanding he knew beforehand what treatment he 
would meet with from a guilty, ungrateful, God-hating world 
—how they would murder his Son, resist his spirit, and kill his 
messengers : if we consider how patient, and forbearing, and 
long-suffering he has been towards obstinate sinners — how loth 
to give them over ; swearing by himself that he delights not in 
their death, but rather that they turn and live ; even while they 
have contemned and affronted him in the vilest manner : and if 
we consider his distinguishing favors towards his elect, and the 
marvellous things which he has wrought for his church and peo- 
ple ; — I say, if we consider these things, and, at the same time, 
look round the world and behold the innumerable common fa- 
vors strewed abroad among guilty, hell-deser\'ing rebels, wc 
must be forced to own, that he is good to all, and that his ten- 
der mercies are over all his works. 

His goodness, indeed, is evidently as unbounded as his power. 
There is no act of kindness, which his omnipotcncy is able to do, 
but that there is goodness enough in his heart to prompt him to do 
it, if, all things considered, it is best to be done : His propensi- 
ty to do good is fall)' equal to his ability. All the treasures 
and good things of this lower world are his, and he gives all to 
the children of men ; and wc should have enjoyed all, without 
the least sorrow intcraiixed, had not our sin andapostacymade 


it ncccssar)' for him to give some testimony of his displeasure : 
and vet, even the calamities of life are well adapted, in our pres- 
ent state, to do us good. All the treasures and glories of heav- 
en are his, and he ofters all to a guilty u'orld, and artuallv gives 
all to such as are willing to accept of all, through the mediator, 
in tlie way prescribed — and what can he give more ? Can he 
give his only begotten son to die for sinners ? Behold, he has 
a heart to do it ! Can he ^ive his holy spirit to recover poor 
sinnei-s to (iod ? Behold, he has a heart to do it.. as ready 
to give his holy spirit to them that ask, as parents are to give 
bread to their children ! And, finally, can he, in any sense, give 
himself to his creatures ? Behold, he is willing to do so.... to be 
tlieir God, and father, and portion, and be all things to them, 
and do all things for them, if they will but accept of him through 
Jesus Christ ! So that, as I said, his propensity to do good is 
fully equal to his ability : And there is no doubt but that he 
does show all those kindnesses to his intelligent creatures, 
which, all things considered, are best should be shown. And 
his understanding is infinite, whereby he is able to determine 
exactly what is best in the whole. Thy mercij, Lord^ is in 
the heercens ; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds : Hozo 
excellent is thy loving kindness, OGodl Therefore the children 
of men put their trust under the shadow of thy w/n^.?.... Psalm 
xxxvi. 5y7. 

And such is the goodness of his nature, and so much good- 
ness has he in his heart, that he needs no motive to excite him to 
do good ; i.e. nothing from without : Thus, unmoved andun- 
excited by any thing from without himself, of his own mere 
goodness, he did, in the da}s of eternity, determine to do all 
that good, which ever will by him be done, to all eternity, when 
there was nothing existing but himself, and so nothing to move 
him but his ov/n good pleasure : Yea, such is the goodness of 
his nature, that he not only needs no motive from without to 
excite him to do good, but even then, when there are all diings to 
the contran- — even ever}- thing in his creatures to render them 
ill-deserving, and to discourage and hinder his shewing mere}', 


and to provoke him to wrath — even tl\en, when dtscourage- 
inents are infinitely great, and provocations are innumerable ; 
yea, when there is nothing in his creature but what is of the na- 
ture of a provocation — even, in such a case, he can show mer- 
cy ; yea, the greatest of mercies. He can give his son to die 
for such, and his holy spirit to sanctify them, and himself at last to 
be their God and father, and everlasting portion ; Such is the in- 
comparable goodness of his nature. JVho rs a God like unto 
thee I hc....Mic. vii. 18, 19. — But then he is at liberty, in such 
cases, and may act according to his own discretion, and have 
mercy on whom he will have mercy, and have compassion on 
whom he will have compassion ; and, truly, it is infinitely fit he 
should. To act soverelgnlv, in such cases, is infinitely becom- 
ing ; and, indeed, it is fit he should dispense all his favors ac- 
cording to his sovereign pleasure : It is fit he should do what 
he will with his own. He knows best how to exercise his own 
goodness, and it is perfectly fit that he should be at liberty, and 
act according to his own discretion. ...according to the counsel 
of his own will. And because it is infinitely fit, therefore he ac- 
tually does so....Ejf/i. i. 11. He passed by the angels that sin- 
ned, and pitied sinful men ; he passed by the'rest of the world, 
and chose the seed of Abraham ; he suffers thousands of sin- 
ners to go on in their sins and perish, and, in the mean time, 
seizes here and there one by his all-conquering grace, and effec- 
tually saves them ; and all according to his sovereign pleasure, 
because it seems good in his sight so to do. And the reason 
why he acts sovereignly, is because, in the nature of things, it is 
fit he should ; therefore, his sovereignty is a holy and a glorious 
r.overeignty. Hence, when Moses desired to see his giory^ he 
discovered this untohim....7r.\W. xxxiii. 12. And because our 
Savior saw how fit and becoming it was for God to act as a 
sovereign, in bestowing his favors, therefore he saw a glory ia 
liis sovereignty, and so rejoiced in \t....Miit. xi. 25,20. And 
sovereign grace is glorious grace in the eyes of ever)' one who 
views things aright, and has aright frame of heart. Consid- 
ering that all God has is his oiv>i....i]y.\i he knows infinitely the 


best what to dowith ivhathe Afl*....<hat tlicre can be no motive 
from xvitfiout to excite him to act, it is infinitely fit he should be 
left to himself, to act according to his own discretion ; and it is 
infinite impudence for a worm of the dust to intermeddle or go 
about to direct the ahiiighty and infmitcly wise God ; and it is 
infinite wickedness to dislike his conduct, and find fault with 
his dispensations. 

Indeed, if there was nothing of greater worth and importance 
than the happiness of his creatures and subjects, and so nothing 
thai he ought to have a greater regard to and concern for, then 
it is not to be supposed that any of his creatures and subjects 
would be finally miserable. The infinitely good Governor of 
the world has a great regard to the happiness of his subjects : 
their weUWe is vcr)- dear to him, and their misery, in itself, or 
for its own sake, very undesirable in his siglit ; yet he has so 
much greater regard to something else, that, in some instances, 
he actually docs suffer sinners to go on in their sins and j^rish 
forever : yea, he will inflict the eternal torments of hell upon 
them. The goodness of God is a holy, wise and rational good- 
ness, and not an unreasonable fondness : He will never do u 
wrong thing, to oblige any of his creatures : no, he had rather 
the whole world should be damned ; yea, that even his own Son 
should die : Nor will he ever communicate good to any one, 
when, all things considered, it is not best and v/isest. When 
he first designed to create the world, and first laid out his whole 
scheme of go\ emment, as it was easy for him to have determin- 
ed, that neither angels nor men should ever sin, and that misery 
should nc\'er be heard of in all his dominions, so lie could ea- 
sily have prevented both sin and misery. Why did he not ?— 
Surely, not for want of goodness in his nature ; for that is infi- 
nite : — not from any thing like cruelty ; for thei e is no such ih'iivr 
in him : — not for want of a suitable regard to the happiness of 
his creatures ; for that he always ha3 : But it was because, in 
his infinite wisdom,he did not think it best in the whole. It was 
not because he had not sufficient power to preserve angels and 
men all holy and happy ; for it is certain he had ; — it was not be- 


cause preventing grace would have been inconsistent witli their 
being free agents ; for it would not : — it was not because he did 
not thoroughly consider and weigh the thing with all its conse- 
quences ; for it is certain he did : But, upon the whole, all 
things considered, he judged it best to permit the angels to sin 
and man to fall ; and so let misery enter into his dominions. 
It did not come to pass accidentally and unawares, and contrary 
to what God had ever thought of or intended ; because it is cer- 
tain that he knew all things from the beginning ; and it is certain 
that, in an affair of such a nature, and of such consequence, he 
could not stand by as an idle, unconcerned spectator, that cares 
not which way things go. There is no doubt, therefore, but 
that, all things considered, he tliought it best to permit things to 
come to pass just as they did : And, if he thought it best, it was 
best ; for his understanding is infinite — his wisdom unerring, 
and so he can never be mistaken. But why was it best ? What 
could he have in view preferable to the happiness of his crea- 
tures ? And if their happiness was to him above all things most 
dear, how could he bear the thoughts of their ever, any of them, 
being miserable ? — Why, it is certain he thought it best ; and 
therefore -it is certain he had a view to something else besides 
merely the happiness of his creatures — to something of greater 
importance, and more worthy to bear a governing sway in his 
ihind, by which it became him to be above all things influenced, 
in laying out and contriving how things should proceed and be 
disposed in the world he designed to create. 

But what was that thing which was of greater worth and im- 
portance, and so more worthy to bear a governing sway in his 
mind, and to which he had the greatest regard, making all oth- 
er things give way to this ? What was his^7Y///r/c»(/ in creating 
and governing the world ? Why, look. ...what end he is at last 
like to obtain, when the whole scheme is finished, and the day 
of judgment past, and heaven and hell filled with all their pro- 
per inh:il)itants : And what will be the final result ? \Vhat will 
he get by all ? Why, in all, he will exert and displav every one 
of his perfections to the life, and so, by all, will exhibit a most 


perfect and exact image of himself. And now, as he is infinite- 
\\ glorious in being what he is, therefore that scheme of conduct 
wliich is perfectly suited to exhibit the mobt lively and exact 
image of him, must be infinitely glorious too : And, therefore, 
this is the greatest and best thing he can aim at in all his works ; 
and this, thcrelore, ought to be his lust eml. Now, it is evi- 
dent that the fall of the angels and of man, together with all 
those things which have and will come to pass in consequence 
thereof, and occ;isioncd thereby, from the beginning of the world 
to the day of judgment, and throughout eternity, will serve to 
give a m.\t^\\ more lively and perfect representation of God, than 
could possibly have been exhibited, had there never been any 
sin or miser)-. The holiness and justice — die goodness, mercy, 
and grace of God shine much more brighUy : They have been 
displayed with an astonishing lustre and glory in the death of 
Christ, and will be displayed forever in heaven and in hell, as 
they could not have been, had not sin and misery ever been per- 
mitted to enter into God's world : Indeed, if, in the nature of 
things, it had been wrong for God to have permitted any of his 
creatures to sin, and then to punish them for it — if God had 
been bound in duty, or in goodness, to keep them from sin, or 
to save them when they had sinned, then the case had been oth- 
erwise : But since, in the nature of things, it was fit he should 
be at liberty, and act according to his own discretion ; ;.nd slnca 
the end he had in view was so noble and godlike, his conduct 
in this affair was infinltelv right, fit and becoming, and so infi- 
nitely glorious. Certainly God thought it was so, or he would 
not have done as he did ; and therefore, if we view things as 
God did, and have a temper and frame of heart like unto his, 
we shall think so too : And, as I said before, it is homd pride 
and impudence for us to pretend to know better than the infinite- 
ly wise God, and infinite wickedness for us to pre: end to find 
fault with his conduct.. ..^o;h. ix. 19 — 23.* Thus, if he had 

• OBj....But surely it couUl not be con'^istfnt wlih the di%liic goodne:;. 
from >11 eternity, to decree the everlasiiiig uiiscry of his crcaiures. 




aimed mevclv at the happinesR of his creatures, he could easily 
have so ordered that Pharaoh should willingly have let Israel 
go, and he could h:^'e led Israel in less than forty days to the 
promised land, and put them into an immediate possession: 
but there was something else which he had a greater regard to ; 
and therefore Pharaoh's heart is hardened, and all his won- 
ders are wrought in the land of Eg\'pt. The tribes of Israel 
march to the borders of the Red-Sea.... the sea parts. ...Israel 
goes through, but the Egyptians are drowned. And now Is- 
rael is tempted and tried, and they sin and rebel, and so are 
doomed to wander forty years in the wilderness, and to have 
their carcases fall there. And why was all this ? Why, because 
his design was to display all his perfections, and fill the whole 
earth with his glory . . . Exod. ix. 1 6—NuTnk xiv. 21. A nd now, 
because it is the most noble thing that God can have in view, 
to act forth all his perfections to the life, and so exhibit the most 
exact representation of himself in his works ; therefore, it is in- 
finitely fit he should make this his last end, and all other things 
subservient ; and his conduct in so doing is infinitelv beauti- 
ful and glorious. I'hus we see how the goodness of God is dis- 
played in his government of the Avorld, and see that it is an un- 
bounded, rich, free goodness ; and that all the exercises of it 
are sovereign, and under the direction of his infinite wisdom : 
so that God is infinitely glorious on the account of this perfec- 
tion of his nature., ..Exod. xxxiii. 19. & xxxiv. 5, 6, 7. — Rom. 
ix — Eph. i. 1 — 12. 

(7) His unchangeable truth and faithfulness are also discov- 
ered in his government of the world ; and that in the fulfilment 
of his promises, and the execution of his threatenings. Did he ' 

ANS....God has in fact permitted sin to enter into the world — docs in 
fact permit many to die in their sins — will in fact punish them forever ; 
and (ili consistent with the infinite goodness of his nature, as every one 
must acknowledpc. And since it is lonsistent with his goodness to do at 
be (lorn, it was consistent with his goodness, to determine witli himself be- 
forehand to do sn .-...What CJiid, _/;</>»( itcrnity, decreed to do, tliat God, in 
time, will do : therefore, if att God's cntuhtct he holy, just and good, so 
also are a/l his decrees ; unless we can suppose it to he wrong for the iniU 
nitely wise God, from all eternity, to determine ujion a conduct in all res- 
ptcts rig/jt -• than which nothing can be more absurd. 


promise to be Ahraluiin's God ? So he was. Did he promise 
to gi\ c the l^ind ol Canaan to his seed for an inheritance ? So 
lie did. Did he promise to send liis Son into the world, and to 
set him up a kingdom upon earth ? Even so he has done : And 
he is in like manner true and faithfiJ to all liis promises, which 
he has made to his people. And did lie threaten to drown the 
old world... .to make Israel wander forty 4jears in the wilder- 
ness.... to deliver them into the hands of their enemies, at wliat 
time soever they should forsake him, and go and ser\e other 
g^ds, and, fimill}', to send them capii\ es into Bab}"lon for sev- 
enty years ? Even so he has done. God's word may alwaj's 
be depended upon ; for what he designs, that he says ; and what 
he sa\s, that he will do. And tliis is another of the glorious 
perfections of his nature. 

Thus all the perfections of God are discovered in his gov- 
ernment of the world. By his conduct we may see what he is, 
and learn the very temper of his heart. And now, I might go 
through his other works. ...his redeeming, justifying, sanctily- 
Lng siimers, and bringing them to eternal glor\' at last,and shew 
how his glorious pcrlections shine forth in them. But I have 
already hmted at some of these things, and shall have occasioa 
afterwards to view the divine perfections shining forth in these 
works of God, when I come to consider the nature of the gos- 
pel. Suflicient has been said to answer my present pui-pose ; 
and, therefore, for brevity's sake, I will proceed no further here. 
Thus, then, we see how the perfections of God are manifested 
in his works. 

Secondly.. The same representation is made of God in his 
WORD : For diese great works of God. ...his creating, preserv- 
ing and govcrn'mg the worlds, .his redeeming, sanctifying and 
saving sinners, are the subject-matter of all the Bible. God, in 
his works, acts out his perfections, and, in his word, lays the 
whole before our eves in writing. Therein he has told us what 
he has done, and what he intends to do ; and so has delineated 
his glorious perfections in the plainest manner, hx his vjord^ 
God has revealed himself to the children of men.,,. has manifestp 


ed and shewn what he is. But how ? Why, by declaring and 
holding forth his works, as that in which he has exhibited the 
image of himself. Thus, the scriptures begin with an account 
of God's creating the world, and goes on throughout all the Old 
Testament, informing how he preserves and governs it : And, 
then, in the New Testament, we are informed more particularly 
how he redeems, justifies, sanctifies, and saves sinners. And 
now, as the actions of a man discover the temper and disposi- 
tion of his heait, and shew what he is, so the works of God, 
from first to last, all taken together, hold forth an exact repre- 
sentation of himself. If we will begin with God's creating the 
world, and survey all his conduct in the light of scripture. ...his 
conduct towards man before the fall, and after the fall.. ..his con- 
duct towards Abel and Cain, Enoch and Noah, and all the old 
worlfl....his conduct towards Lot and Sodom — towards Abra- 
ham, Isaac and Jacob, and Joseph — towards the children of Is- 
rael, in Egypt, at the Red-Sea, in the wilderness, at Sinai, at 
Massah, at Taberah, &:c....and in the times of Joshua, of their 
Judges, of their Kings, &c. and then come into the New 
Testament, and survey his conduct with relation to the redemp- 
tion and salvation of sinners, and then look forward to the great 
judgment-day, and s^e his whole scheme finished.. ..see the re- 
sult, the conclusion and end of all ; look up to heaven and take 
a view of that world, and look down to hell and survey the state 
of things there ; from the whole we may see ruhot God i.i : for, 
in the whole, God exerts his nature, and, by the whole, God de- 
signs to exhibit an exact representation oi himself. And, then, 
are our apprehensions of God right, and according to truth, 
when we take in that very representation which he has made of 
himself: And now to account him infinitely glorious in l)eing 
what he is, and to love him 7vith all our hearts, because he is 
what he is, is the very thing which the law of God requires. 

And, indeed, so plain is that representation which God has 
made of himsi'U,by his woi'ks and in his word ; and he is rcalltf 
so in&nilely glorious in being what he is, that were not mankind> 
tlirough their exceeding gi'cat depravity, entirely void of a right 


tnxte and rdhfi for true beautify they could not but be even rav- 
ished with the (h\ inc Being. They would luuuially leel as tlicy 
do in heaven, and naiuially speak their languacje, Holijy holijy 
holif^ is the Lord of lioats ; the xvholc earth is full of his glory ! 
....Isai. vi. ;3. But such is the vile temper of sinful, apostate 
creatures, that they arc not only blind to the moral extcllcncy 
of the divine nature, but are even in a stated, habitual contrari- 
ety to God in the frame of their hearts.. .. /^ow. viii. 7. And 
hence, the manifestation which God has made of himself, can 
find no place in their hearts. ...y^/i/i viii. oT. They cannot 
attend to things of such a nature, (verse 43. J because so disa- 
greeable to their taste ; for (verse 47. J He that is ofGo(/,hear- 
eth Ggi/'a- -word ; tje^ therefore., hear thnii not., because ije are not 
of God. It is hard to bring unregenerate men so much as to 
have right notions of what God is, because he is a Being in his 
nature so contrary and disagreeable to them. They do not like 
to retain God in their knoivk'dge....Roiu. i. 28. Men had 
rather that God was another kind of Being, different from what 
he really is, and more like themselves — one that would suit their 
temper, and serve their interest : and, therefore, they frame 
such an one in their own fancy, and then fall down and worsiiip 
the false image which they have set up. From hence it is, that 
all those false notions of God have taken their rise, which have 
always filled the world. But were men brought to have right 
notions of what God is, and to take in that very representation 
which he has made of himself, by his works and in his word ; }'et 
they would be so far from accounting him infinitely glorious in 
being what he is, that they would see no form or comeliness in 
him xvherefore thcij should desire him : but would feel the like 
malignant spirit towards him as the Jews did towards their pro- 
phets, and towards Christ and his apostles, only in a worse de- 
gree. The same temper which caused the exercise of such en- 
mity towards their prophets, and towards Christ and his apos- 
tles, would have caused as groat or greater towards God him- 
self, had they but had right notions of him. And the clearer 
apprehension a sinner has of God, the more will his enmity ex- 


ert itself ; because a sinful nature and a holy nature ai*e dia- 
metrically opposite to each other : And, therefore, the clearest 
external revelation of God cannot bring sinners to love him.— 
All the world will see just what kind of Being he is at the day 
of judgment, and that in a very plain and clear manner : But 
yet they whose nature it is to hate him for being what he is, will 
hate him still ; yea, hate him more than ever : And, therefore, 
besides the external revelation which God has made of himself, 
by his works and in his word, there is an absolute necessity that 
he should internally reveal himself in his glory to the heart of a 
sinner, in order to beget divine love there : Which brings me 
to add. 

Thirdly. God reveals his infinite glory in being w/iat he is in 
the hearts of sinners^ by his holy spirit., ..Mat. xi. 25,27. By 
his works and in his word he has revealed 7 chat he /.9, and that 
in a manner sufficicntiy plain — even so plainly that there is no 
need at all of any further objective revelation ; and he is really 
infinitely glorious in being what he is : Now, therefore, if we 
would rightly attend to that revelation which God has made of 
himself, we could not but have right apprehensions of him ; and 
if we had a good taste for true beauty, we could not but be rav- 
ished with his glory : but we are naturally disinclined to right 
apprehensions of God, and are entirely destitute of a true taste 
for moral beauty : And hence we may learn what kind of in- 
wai'd illumination we stand in need of from the spirit of God. 
We do not need the holy spirit to reveal any nrtU truths concern- 
ing God, not already revealed ; for the external revelation which 
he has made of himself, is sv£iciently full : — we do not need to 
have the holy spirit immediately reveal all these truths con- 
cerning God over again to us, by way of objective revelation^ or 
immediate inspiration ; because the external revelation already 
made is siifficiaitly plain : We only need (1) to be effectually 
awakened, to attend to those manifestations which he has made 
of himself in his works and v;ord, that we may see ivhat he is : 
And (2) to have a spiritual taste imparted to us, by the imme- 
diate influence of the Holy Ghost, that we may have a sense of 


hi* infinite glon/ in being such : For these two will lay an effec- 
Uial fouiulation in our hearts for that love which the law re- 
quires. Bv the common inflcnccs ot the spirit, we may be awa- 
kened to a realizing sight and sense oiwiiat God is ; and, by the 
special and sanctifying inthiencesofthe spirit, we may receive a 
sense of his m'nn'w.c glortj in being such : And also the sense of his 
glorij will naturally cause us to see more clearly what (iod is : 
for a sense of the moral excellency of the divine nature fixes our 
thoughts on (iod ; and the more our thoughts are fixed, the 
more distinctly ^ve see what he is : And while we see him to be 
what he is, and see his infinite glory in being such, hereby a di- 
vine love is naturally enkindled in our hearts. And thus, He 
that commanded the light to shine out of darkness^ shines iii out- 
hearts^ and gives us the light of the knoxvledge of the glory of 
God : And so we all^ with open face, behold, as in a glass, the 
glon} of the Lord, and are changed into the same image... II Cor. 
iii. 1 8. and iv. 6. A sight of the moral excellency of the. di- 
vine nature makes (iod appear infinitely glorious in every res- 
pect. Those things in God, whicii before appeared exceeding 
dreadful, now appear unspeakably glorious : His sovereignty ap- 
pears glorious, because now we see he is fit to be a sovereign, 
and that it is fit and right he should do what he will with his 
own : His justice appears glorious, because now we see the in- 
finite evil of sin ; and a consideration of his infinite imdcrstand- 
ing and almight)' power enhances his glory : And while we view 
what he is, and see his greatness and glory, and consider his 
original, entire, underivcd riglit to all things, we begin to see 
why he assumes the character of most high God, supreme Lord, 
and sovereign Governor of the whole world ; and we resign the 
throne to him, and take our places, and become his willing sub- 
jects ; and our hearts are framed to love him, and fear him, and 
trust in him through Jesus Christ ; and we give up ourselves 
to him, to walk in all his ways and keep all his commands, seek- 
ing his glon- : And thus a sight ap.d sense ol the infinite digni- 
ty, greatness, glor\- and excellency of the most high God, lays 
the first foundation for a divine love. God's being what he is. 


is the primary reason that he requires us to love him tvith all our 
hearts ; and it is the first motive ol'a genuine love. 

I might now pass on to consider the additional obligations we 
are under to love God ; but that it may be profitable to stop a 
while, and a little consider the nature and properties ofihls Jirst 
and greatest ixnd most fundamental obligation ; and take a view 
of some important consequences necessarily following therefx-om. 
And here, 

1. This obligation is binding antecedently to any considera- 
tion of advantage or disadvantage — oirezvards or punishments ; 
and even prior to any consideration oithe positive will and latv 
of God himself. 

2. It is infinitely binding. 

3. It is eternally binding. 

4. It is unchangeably binding. 

5. It is that from which all o^Aer obligations originally derive 
their binding nature. 

1. This obligation which we are under, to love God xvith all 
our hearts^ resulting from the infinite excellency of the divine 
nature, is binding antecedently to any consideration of advantage 
or disadvantage — ofrnvards or punishments^ or even of the pos- 
itive will and luxu of God himself . To love God with all our 
hearts natiu-allj' tends to make us happy ; and the contrary to 
make us miserable ; and there are glorious rewards promised 
on the one hand, and dreadful punishments threatened on die 
other ; and God, as Governor of the world, has, with all his au- 
thority, by his law, expressly required us to love him wldi all 
our hearts, and forbidden the contrary ; and all these things are 
binding ; but yet the infinite excellency of the divine nature 
lays us under bonds prior to any consideration of these things : 
So that if our interest did not at all lie at stake, imd iftliere had 
never been any express law in the case, yet it would be right, 
and ovn- indispensable duty, to love God with all our hearts. — 
His being infinitely lovely in himself, makes it our duty to love 
him J for he is, in himself, worthy of our highest esteem : Hf 
deserves it ; it is, in the nature of things, hia due : and that an- 


tccedcnt to any selfish consideration, or anf express law in the 
case. To suppose the contraiT, i^ to deny the infinite aniiiible- 
ncss of the divine nature, and to takeaway the viry foundation 
of the law itself, and the very reason of all rewards and punish- 
ments : For if our supreme love is not due to God, then he is 
not infinitely lovely ; and if he does not deserve to be loved 
with idl our hearts, why does he require it ? And if, in the na- 
ture of things, it is not right and fit that we should love him, 
anil, tlie contrurv, unfit and wrong, what gi'ounds aix- there for 
rewards or punishments ? So that it is evident, the infinite ex- 
cellency of the divine nature binds us, and makes it our duty, 
antecedent to any consideration of advantage or disadvantage, 
rewards or punishments, or even of the positive will and law of 
God, to love God with all our heans ; and tlitrefore oiu" love 
must primarily take its rise from a sense of this infinitcexcel- 
lency of the divine nature, as has betn before obsei^ved j and diat 
seeming love, which arises merely from selfish considerations, 
from the fear of punishment or hope ofreward, or because the 
law requires it, and so it is a duty and must be done, is not gen- 
uine ; but is a selfish, a mercenary, and a forced thing. How . 
evidently, therefore, do those discover their hypocrisy, who at e 
wont to talk after the following manner : — " If I am elected, I 
*' shall be saved, let me do what I will ; and if I am not clect- 
"ed, I shall be damned, let me do what I can : and therefore it 
"is no matter how I live." And again after this sort...." If I 
" knew cciUiinly that God had made no promises tu the duties 
" of the unregenerate, as some pretend, I would never do any 
*' rhore in religion." Surelv, they had as good sav that th<y 
have no regard at all to the infinite excellency of the divine na- 
ture, but are entirely influenced by selfish and mercenary mo- 
tives in all thr\ do : Thev do not seem to understand that thiy 
are under iniinite obligations to love God with all dieir hearis, 
and obey him in ever)' diing, resulting from God's being wh;.t 
he is, and that antecedent to all selfish considerations ; — su: h 
know not (iocl....I. y c/i/z, iii. G. 



2. This obligation, resulting from the intrinsic excellency 
and amiableness of the divine nature, \s injinitely bifiding ; be- 
cause this excellency and amiableness is in itself infinite. Our 
obligation arises from his desert ; but he infinitely deserves our 
love, because he is infinitely lovely. When any person is love- 
ly and honorable, reason teaches us that we ought to love and 
honor him, and that it is wrong to dislike and despise him : 
And the more lovely and honorable, the greater is our obligation 
to love and honor him ; and the more aggravatedly vile is it to 
treat him with contempt. Since, therefore, God is a Being of 
infinite dignity, greatness, glory and excellency, hence we are 
under an infinite obligation to love him with all our hearts ; and 
it is infinitely wrong not to do so : Since he is infinitely worthy 
to be honored and obeyed by us, therefore we are under an in- 
finite obligation to honor and obey him j and that with all our 
heart and soul, and mind and strength. Hence, 

[1.] Perfect love and perfect ohediovcc deserve no tlianks at 
his hands. If we perfecdy love him, even with all our hearts, 
and give up ourseh'^es entirely and foi-ever to him, to do his 
will and seek his glory, and so cordially delight in him as to take 
up our full and everlasting contentment in him ; }et, in all this, 
we do but our duty, and we do no more than what we ixre un- 
der an infinite obligation to do ; and, therefore, we deserve no 
thanks.... Z.wX'C xvii. 9, 10. — Yea, we do nothing but that in 
which consists our highest perfection, glory, and blessedness ; 
and, therefore, instead of descr\'ing thiuiks, we ought to ac- 
count it an exceeding great privilege that we mmj thus love the 
Lord, live to him, and live upon \<i\\x^.,.. Psalm xix. 10. 

When, therefore, eternal life was promised in the first cove- 
nant as the reward of perfect obedience, it was not under the 
notionof any thing being W2t'r/7iY/; nor did it ever enter into 
the hearts of the angels in heaven to imagine they merited any 
thing by all their love and service ; for, from their very hearts, 
they all join to say, Worthxj art ihou^ Lord^ to receive glorijy 
and honor ^ and praise forever. And they deserve no thanks for 
their doing so, for they but own the very truth. 

lilbTlNUUIbllXlD tKOM ALL COUM LUrLll S. 4-9 

When, therefore, sinful men, jx)or, helUdLscrving creatures, 
think it much that tliey should love and scr\c God so well, and 
tiike so great pains in religion ; andare ready to think that God 
and man ought highly to value them for tlieirso doing, and are 
always telling God and man how Mu;in y good thcv arc ; as he, 
Luic xviii. 11, 12. ...Got/, / tliunk llicv^ I am not as ot/irr tncn 
are^ extortioners^ unjust, tidultercrs^ or even as diis publican ;— 
no, far from this, I am one of the best men in all the world — / 
J'dst tiuice in the week....! give tijthes oj all that I possess. This 
appealed to him such a mighty thing, that he thought it quite 
worth while to tell God himself of it. Now, I say, when this 
is men's temper, it is a sign they neither know God, nor love 
him ; for, if die}- did, they coidd not set so high a price upon 
their duties, since he is so infinitely deserving : The ])lain truth 
is, such have intolerable mean^thoughts of God, and intolerable 
high thoughts of themselves — they are brim-full of spiritual 
pride and self-righteousness ; and such are exceedingly hatefiJ 
in the sight of God. They implicitly say that God is not inli- 
nitely glorious, and infinitely woithy of all love and lionor — he 
does not deserve it. is not his due ; but rather he is behold- 
en to his creatures for it, and ought to render them many thiuika 
for their love and service. The language of their hearts is, 
God has so little loveliness that it is much to love kim : Like a 
bad mother-in-law, who thinks it notliiug to toil for her own 
children, because she lo\'es them ; but grudges every step she 
takes for the rest, and thinks every little a great deal, because 
she cares not for them : So, such men think it nothing to rise 
early and sit up late, to get the world. get riches, honor 
and pleasure ; for they lo\ e themselves : but think it much to 
take the tenth part of the pains in religion ; because they love 
not God. Their whole frame of mind casts infinite contempt 
upon the glorious majesty of heaven, to whom all honor is in- 
finitely due, and in whose ser\'ice all the hosts of heaven ac- 
count themselves perfecdy blessed : I'hcy feel as if the)' de- 
served to bo paid for all. 


True, there are glorious rewards promised in the law and 
in the gospel : But why ? and upon what grounds ? A man 
may be said to be rewarded in three different senses. (1.) 
When he receives what he strictly deserves^ as im hireling rC' 
ceives his wages at night. But, in this sense, the angels in heav- 
en are not capable of a reward : for, in strict justice, they de- 
serve nothing.... Lt/zir xvii. 0, 10 — Rom. \'\. 35. They are no 
hirelings, for God has a nutuml, original, underivcd right to 
them, as much as he has to the sun, moon and stars ; and 
these, therefore, deserve to be paid for their shining, as much 
as the angels do for their working. Besides, if the angels do 
love God, it is no more than he infinitely deserves. And far- 
ther, the services of angels do not profit God, and so lay him 
under no obligations, any more than the birds profit the rising 
sun by their morning-songs, and so lay the sun under obliga- 
tions to shine all day. jfob xxii. 2, 3. ...Can a man be profitable 
unto God^ as he that is xuise may he profitable unto himself f Is 
it any pleasure to the Almighty^ that thou art righteous ? oris 
it gain to him^ that thou jnakest thy xuays perfect ? And yet, 
even in this gross sense, self-righteous persons feel, at heart, a» 
if they deserved a reward for their good duties; though per- 
haps they are not willing to own it. Hence, they are so apt to 
think it would be very hard, unjust and cruel, if God should 
damn them for tlieir past sins, notwithstanding all their good 
dulie-. Isa. Iviii. 3. ...Wherefore have we fasted, say they., and 
thou seest not ? But, (2.) A man may be said to be rewarded, 
when, although, in strict justice, he deserves nothing; yet he re- 
ceives great favors at the hands of God^ in testimony of the divine 
approbation of his person and services : And thus, the angels 
in heaven, though they deserve nothing, yet have eternal life 
bestowed upon them, as a reward to their perfect obedience, in 
testimony of the divine approbation. God rewards them, not 
because they do him any good, nor because they deserve any 
thingat his hands ; but because he infinitely loves righteottsncssy 
and to appear as an infinite frii nd to t/iis^ in his public conduct, 
iu moral Governor of the world. The most that can be said 


of the holkst anjjcl in hca\cn, is, that he is fit to l)e approved 
in the sight of Clod, because lie is perfectly suth as God i c- 
quiics him to be. And now, because God loves to put honor 
upon virtue, and to exercise the infinite bountilulness of his 
nature, tin vefoie he gives them the reward of eternal life. 
And thus God promises us tlenial lifi.', upon conditi(jn of per- 
fect obedience, in the first covenant: as if God had said, "If 
'' vou will love me with all your heart, and obey mc in every 
" thing, as you arc bound in iluty to do ; then, although you will 
" deserve nothing, yet, as becomes a holy and good God. ...a 
" kind and bountiful Govcrnc^r, I will make you everlastingly 
*' blessed in the enjoyment of myself ; and that in testimonv 
*' of my approbation of your perfect and steady fidelitw" And 
so, by covenant and promise, this reward would have been chtc^ 
hid the condition been performed. Hence, that in Rom. iv. 4 
....Xoiv to him that xvcrkcth^ is the reward not reckoned of rrrace^ 
but of Dr.Br. And now here self-righteous persons are wont 
to come in with their works, and insist upon their right, and 
plead the reason of things, as well as die promise. " If we do 
'' (say they) as well as we can, which is all that God does or 
" can in justice require of us, surely he will accept of us — it 
" would be cruel to cast us off — ^his goodness and faithfulness are 
** engaged for us :" Just as if they had now made full amends 
for all their past sins, by their repentance and reformation ; and 
grr)wn to be as good as angels, by taking some htde pains in 
religion ! I'or the best angel in heaven does not pretend to any 
other tide to blessedness than diis ; nimely, that he has done 
as well as he can, and that diis is alUhatCiod has required, and 
aldiough he is an unprofitable servant, yet he depends upon the 
promise, the goodness and f^iidifulness of his bountiful Creator. 
Indeed, self-righteous persons may pretend to expect M for 
Christ''^ sake ; and say, that what they do, only entitles them 
to an interest in him ; but it i^ M mere pretence ; for still thev 
think that Ciod is bonnd to give them an interest in Christ and 
eternal life, if tiicij do as ~eeil as they can; and would think 
God dealt very hardly with them, if he did not : So that dieir 


real dependance, at bottom, is upon their own goodness, their 
own worth or worthiness, to make amends for past sins, and 
recommend them to God, and entide them to all things ; the 
infinite absurdity of which will be evident presendy. Again, 
(.3.) A man may be said to be rewarded, when he neither de- 
serves any thing, nor is it fitting that his person and conduct, 
considered mei-cly as they are in themselves^ should be approv- 
ed ; but ought to be condemned, according to reason, and ac- 
cording to God's righteous law, they being so sinfully defec- 
tive ; nevertheless, such a man may be said to be rewarded, 
when, merely on the account of his interest in the righteousness 
tLwd roorthlness of Christ, his person and performances are 
accepted, and peculiar favors shewn him. And in this way 
are believers accepted, according to the covenant of grace, and 
cntided to the reward of eternal life : Phil. iii. 8, 9 — Eph. i. 6 
— I Pet. ii. 5. Now, those who look for a reward in this xvaify 
will be so far from thinking it much, which thev have done for 
God, that they will forever set all down for nothing, and worse 
than nothing,* their best duties being so sinfully defective ; and 
judge themselves worthy of hell every day, and every moment : 
And all their dependance will be on Christ's worthiness, and 
the free grace of God through him : Luke xviii. 13 — Rom. \\u 
24. And all that is said in the New Testament about God*3 
rewarding the believer's good works, being viewed in this light, 
gives not the least countenance to a self-righteous spirit, but 

• Worse than nothing. ...tioTJi.. I do not mean, that an iinjicrfccr, and vcrj 
defective conformity to the hiw is worse, and more odious in God's sigiit, 
than no conformity at all ; but only, that there is more oc/imisness than 
amlablencfin in siicli defective services : and that, therefore, we are, in the 
f>\g\\X. of God, on their account, more ])ro|)<r objects of liatred aiul punish- 
ment, than of love and reward, if considered merely as in ourselves, with- 
out any respect to our relation to Ciirist ; so that, in point of recommend- 
ing ourselves to God, we do, by our best duties, thus considered, ra'her dis- 
commend ourselves in his sight. ...and, in this sense, they are worse than 
nothing : tliey are even so far from paying our constant dues, that, in the 
sight of God, they constantly run us into debt. We are infinitely to blame 
in our best frames and best duties, aiul have not any thing in them, which 
tends, in God's sight, in the least degree, to counterbalance om- blame. — 
But if any are desirous to see this ])oint fully explained and proved, and 
all objections answered, I refer them to Mr. iiVwun/i's excellent discours* 
•n juttijication by faith alone. 


militates directly against it : And, indeed, if wc were as per- 
fect as the angels in heaven, it appears, iVom w hut has been 
said, tluvt we bhf)uld deserve no thanks. It is impudent, there- 
fore, and wicked — it is contemptuous — and, in a sort, blasphe- 
mous, and most Ciod-provokin{j, for a proud, conceited 

Phtirisre^ to feci as he does in his self-righteous frames. 

And Ciod might expostulate with such an one in this man- 
ner : ** What, is there so little lovelines in me ? And is it so 
*' great, so hard, so self-denying, to love me, that you think it 
"such a mi^htij thing ! and expect now, diat all past sins shall 
*' lie forgiven, and my favor secured, for Uiis good frame ! yea, 
*' and that I shiJl gi\e you heaven into the bargain ? What, are 
")our obligations to me so small, tliat I must be so much be- 
^'holdcn to you for your love ? What, did you never hear that I 
" was tlie Lord ! and tliat it was I that stretched abroad the heav- 
"ens ! and that )ou are my cla}-, whom I formed and fashion- 
*'ed for myself? — Begone, thou impudent wretch, to hell, thy 
" projxr place : thou art a despiser of my glorious majest\', 
" and your frame of spirit savors of blasphemy : Know it, I am 
" not so mean its ) ou imagine, nor at all beholden to )ou for 
" your lo\ e." And Uiis is one reason that the sacrijicc of the 
xvkki-d is such an abomination to the Lord ; not only when they 
pray wiUiaview to recommend themselves to their fellow-men, 
but also when, in doing their best, they only design to ingratiate 
themselves with God. Prov. xxi. 27....'I7ie sacrifice of the 
xoickcd is abomination (even his very best) : how much more 
when he bringeth it with a wicked mind ? The intinitc great- 
ness, glory and excellency of (Jod, and the infinite obligation 
thence resulting which we are under to lo\-e him with all our 
hearts, and obey him ia eveiy thing, renders a self-righteous 
spirit unspeakably odious, and infinitely provoking in the eyes 
of a holy God. But this will appear still plainer under the next 
particular. i'o proceed, therefore, 

[2.] If we are uruler an infinite obligation to love God su- 
premely, live to him ultimately, and take everlasting delight in 
him, because of his infinite gloiy and excellency, then the least 


disposition to discstecm him. be intlificrcnt about his inter- 
est and honor, or to disrelish communion with him ; or thelt-cut 
d'n^p'j-'^iticn to love ourselves more than God, and be more con- 
cerned about our interest and honor than about his, and to be 
pleased and delighted in the things of the world, more than in 
him, HH/iY, consequently, be 'mfuiitchi sinful^* as is self-evident. 

When, therefore, the great Governor of the world threatens 
eternal damnation for the least sin, (as in Gal. iii. 10.) he does 
the thing that is perfectly riglit ; for an infinite evil deserves 
an infmitc punishment. 

Hence, also, it is no wonder that the holiest saint on earth 
mourns so bitterly, and loaths and abhors himself so exceeding- 
ly for the remaining corruptions of his heart ; for, if the least dis- 
position to depart from God and disrelish communion with him, 
and to be careless about his honor and interest, is infinitely sin- 
ful, then the best men that ever lived have infinite reason al- 
ways to lie as in the dust, and have their hearts broken. Al- 
though it be so with them, that all which the world calls good 
and great, appears as dross to them ; and it is nodiing to them 
to part with friends and estate, honor and ease, and all, for 
Christ ; and although they have actually suifered the loss of all 
things, and do count them but dung, not worth mourning about, 
or repining after ; yet, notwithstanding all these attainments, 
attended with the fullest assurance of et>.rnal glory in the world 
to come, they have infinite reason to do as they do.. dislike hate themselves, and lie down in the dust all in 
/mr*, because still there is such a remaining disposition in their 
hearts to disestcem the Lord of glory.. neglect his interest, 
and depart from him ; and because they are so i'ar from being 
what they ought to be, notwithstanding the obligations 1\ ing np- 

* The least sia may be an infniitc evil, because of the infinite obligation 
we arc under to do o'licrw ire, and yet all sins not bi- equally lu-inous : 
lor thire i^ as great a diftV rcncc ainonf^ infinites, as a)non>^ finites ; 1 mea)i, 
aiiicn^T things that are inliniic «<nly in one rcsjject : i'or instance, to he 
for fver in hell is an intiniie evil, in re^pec' <•! ihe duia'.ion ; but yci the 
damned arc not all equally miserablf. Some may be :'.n hundred times a^ 
iiiiscrable ai. Oihei-s, in decree ; altUouj^h the ntikciy nl:' <ill is(;qiJ<tl in jioiti' 
of duration. 


•n them are infinite. Oh ! this is infinitely vile and abon\ina- 
blc, :uk1 they huve reason indeed, therefore, alw avs to loathe and 
abhor themselves, and repent in dust and ashes ; yea, they are 
infinitely to blame for not being more Immblc and penitent.— 
A sight and sense of these things made Job lie down in the dust 
and mourn so bitterly for his impatience under his past afHic- 
tions, though he had been the most patient man in the world..., 

yob xlii. 5, 6. This made the psalmist call himself a Least 

Psalm Ixxiii. 22. And hence, Paul called himself the chitf of 
sinners^ and cried out, / am carnal^ sold tuult-r sin ; wretched 
man that Jam J And hated to commend himself when the Co- 
rinthians drove him to it, and seemed to blush at every sentence, 
and, in a sort, recalled his words — I am 7iot a whit behind the 

very chief of the apostles, tjet I am nothing / labored more 

abundanthj than they all, yet not L Such a sight of things kills 
a self-righteous spirit at root, in the most exalted saint ; for he 
has nothing (all things considered) to make a righteousness of, 
but, in strict justice, merits etenial damnation ever)' hour, and 
does nothing to make the least amends. 

For, if perfect obedience merits no thanks, as was before ob- 
served ; and if the least sin is an infinite evil, and deser\es an 
infinite punishment, as wc have now seen, then a whole eterni- 
ty of perfect obedience would do just nothing towards m:iking 
the least amends for the smallest sin J much less will the best 
senices of the highest saint on earth : And, consequently, when 
Paul came to die, he deserved to be damned (considered mere- 
Iv as in himself), as much as when he was a bloody persecutor, 
breaUiing out threatenings and slaugiiter ; yea, and a great deal 
more too : for all his diligence and zeal in the service of Christ 
did just nothing towards making the least amends for what was 
past ; and his daily short-comings and sinful defects run him 
daily inlinitely more and more into debt, which he did nothing 
to counterbalance : And hence, Paul accounts himself to be 
nothing (U Cor. xii. 11.), as well he might ; and all his attain- 
ments to be, in a sense, not worth remembering (/7j/7. iii. 13.) 
and looks upon himself the chief of sinners (I Tim.i, 15.), and 


/ess than the ieast of all saints (Eph. iii. 8.), and durst venture 
his soul upon nothingbut mere tree grace through JesusChrist.... 
Fhll. iii. 8, 9. And thus it is with every beHcver, even the 
most holy, ahhough he daily sees what a God he has sinned 
against — how he has sinned against him, and does, from a gra- 
cious respect to God, mourn for sin, for all sin, a§ the greatest 
evil, and sincerely turns from all to the Lord, and gives up him- 
self to God, to love him and live to him forever ; yet he feels 
that all this makes Tio amends at all for his sins^ but that he real- 
ly deserves to be damned for them as much as ever j yea, he 
feels that he is infinitely blame-worthy for not being more hum- 
ble and penitent and self-abhorring, and that his desert of 
damnation is infinitely increasing continually : And hence, he 
looks upon the grace that saves him as absolutely and divinely 
free, and infinitely great ; and always derives all his hopes of 
happiness from the free grace of God through Jesus Christ. — 
And this is what the apostle means when he speaks of his living 
bij the faith of the son of God..,. Ga\, ii. 20... .of his rejoicing in 
Christ Jesus^ and having no confidence in thcflesh...^V\\\\. iii. 3, 
And this was the cause of his so earnestly longing to ha found 
not in himself, but in Christ. ...not having on his avn rigliteous- 
7tess., but the righteousness which is of God by fiith... .Vhil. iii. 8, 9. 
How directly contrary to all this is the temper of the blind, con- 
ceited Ph:n-isee, as expressed by Maimonidcs, the Jew, who 
w as professedly one of that sect ? " Every man," says he, " hath 
*' his sins, and every man his merits : and he that hath more 
*' merits than sins, is a just man ; but he that hath more sins 
*' than merits, is a wicked man." And this is the way of such 
men — they put their sins, as it were, into one scale, and their 
good duties into the other ; and when they fimcy their goodness 
outweighs their badness, then they look upon themselves in the 
favor of ( jod. But to return. 

From what has been said, we may learn, that the viorc scnsi- 
hie anv man is of die infinite glor)' and excellency of God, and 
of his infinite obligations thence resulting to lo\ e God with all 
his heart, and obey liiin in every tiling, the clearer will he see 


that perfect obedience deserves no thanks, and that the least 
sin is an infinite evil and dcscncs an iniiniic punishnjent ; and 
so he will renounce his own righteousness, die to himself, and 
come down to nothing, more and more ; and so wUl bcpropor- 
tionably more and more sensible of his absolute need of Christ 
and free gi-ace : And hcnci-, ll\e more holy a man grows, the 
more humble will he be. And, on the contrar)', the more Insen- 
sible a man is of God's infinite glory and excellency, and of his 
obligations, thence resulting, the more will he value his duti»'s, 
and the less evil will he sec in sin, and the less sensible will he 
be of his ill desert, and of his need of Christ and free grace^ — 
And hence, a self-righteous, impenitent, Christ-despising spir- 
it reigns in all who knorv not God ; And thus, we see sorvie ol the 
consequences necessarily following from that infinite obligation 
to love God with all our hearts which we are under, resulting 
Ij-om the infinite glor}- and excellency of the divine nature.-— 
But to pass on, 

3. This obligation we are under to love God with all our 
hearts, arising from his infinite glory and excellency, is, in the 
nature of things, eternally binding. God, his being, perfections, 
and glory will be eternal ; God will always be infinitely amia- 
ble — always as amiable as he is now j and there will be always, 
therefore, the scnnc reason that he should be loved, for being 
w.iiat he is ; even the very same reason that there is now : This 
.obligation is therefore perpetually binding amidst all the chan- 
ges of this life. Whether we are sick or well, in prosperity or 
in adversitv ; whether we are raised to honor with DiA'id, or 
live in affluence with Solomon ; or whether we are in prison 
wiUi Xo^i^ph, or on the dung-hill with Job, or wandering about 
in sheep-skins and goat-skins, destitute, aiHicted, tormented, 
with those mentioned in the eleventh to tlie Hebrexcsy still this 
obligation upon \is to love God, is inviu^iably the same : l*'or Ciod 
is always infinitely anuable in himself; yea, and always will l)e 
so, whether we arc in the earth, or in heaven, or in hell : And 
therefore it alwa\s is, and alwa} s will be, our indl.-pensible 
dut\- to love him widi all our hearts, let what will become of us, 


and let our circumstances, as to happiness and misery, be what 
they may. 

Did our obligations to love God arise merely from a consid- 
eration oi something else besides the eternal excellency oi xht di- 
vine nature — from something \<'hich might altogether cease in 
time, then miglit it possibly, some time or other, ceo^f to be our 
duty to love God with all our hearts : But assuredly it can 
never cease^ until God ceases to be what he is. The infinite ob- 
ligation hence arising will be eternally binding : Indeed, if all 
our obligations to love God did arise merely from selfish con- 
siderations, then, in hell, where these selfish considerations will 
cease, it would cease to be a duty to love God. If I were obli- 
ged to love God, only because he loves me — is kind to me, and 
designs to make me happy, then, when he ceases to love me, 
to be kind to me, and to intend my happiness, all my obliga- 
tions to him would cease ; and it would be no sin not to lovd 
him : But now, since our obligations to love God arise original- 
ly from his being what he is in himself, antecedent to all selfish 
considerations ; therefore it will forever remain our duty to 
love him, let our circumstances, as to happiness or misery, be 
what they will : And not to love him with all our hearts, will 
forever be infinitely wrong. Hence the guilt of the fallen an- 
gels has been increasing ever since their first apostacy ; and the 
guilt of all the damned will be increasing to all eternity ; and 
no doubt their punishment will increase in the same propor- 
tion. How inconceivably and infinitely dreadful, therefore, 
will be their case, who are thus continually sinking deeper and 
deeper in that bottomless pit of woe and misery ! And indeed, 
if this be the case, hell may well be compared, as it is in scrip- 
ture, to a hottojiilrss pit....l{(:\'. ix. 1. & xx. I. 

4. This obligation whicli we are under to love God with all 
our hearts, resulting from the infinite excellency of the divine 
nature, is also unchangeably binding. As unchangeable as the 
divine nature is — as unalterable as the divine beauty is, even so 
unchangeable, so unalterable, in the very nature of things, is 
this our infinite obligation to love him supremely, live to liiiiji 


ultimately, and delight in him superlatively. As God is infi- 
nitely lovely in himself, and unchangeably so, so it is self-evi- 
dent we are under an infinite and invariable obligation to love 
him with all our hearts. This cannot but be always our duty. 
So long as (iod rema'uis what he is, this Mill remain our dutv. 
It will, in the nature of things, be unalterably right and fit to 
love him ; and not to do so, unalterably unfit and wrong. Our 
sinking down into ever so bad a temper, and getting to be ever 
so remote from a disposition to love him, can no more free us 
from the oblig-.uion, than it can cause hiiu to cease being ami- 
able. He must to be amiable, before our obligation 
thence arising can possiblv cease to be binding. If there be 
no alteration in his infinite beauty, there can possibly be no al- 
teration in the infinite obligation thence arising. While God 
remains what he is, and while our natural powers and faculties 
are maintained in being, it must continue our duty to love God 
witli all our hearts, and it cannot but be our dutv. In the na- 
ture of things it is right ; and the obligation is just as incapable 
of any alteration, as is the equality between twice two and four. 
The fallen imgels are of so bad a temper, that the verv thoughts 
of God will, doubdess, sooner than anv diing, stir up all their 
hatred : But God desei-ves to be perfectly loved by them, as 
much as he did before dieir apostacy. Tliere is a great altera- 
tion in the temper of their minds ; but not the least shadow of 
change in the divine beauty. Their having contracted so bad 
and wicked a temper, cannot surely make it right and lawful 
for them to indulge it, and continue in it. Their impious re- 
volt surely cannot free them from the audiority and government 
of Almighty God. He deserves their homage and subjection, 
as much as ever he did : The original ground of all still re- 
mains J he is still the Lord. The same may be said of fallen 
man — it is impossible that our bad temper should fi-ee us from 
our obhgation to love God with all our hearts. It is still, in 
the natLue of things, as wrong, not to love God with all our 
hearts, as ever it was, or as it would have been, had we not 
joined with the fallen angels, and turned apostates. It must 


be SO, unless our being of so bad and wicked a temper makes it 
right for us to continue of such a temper, and we not at all 
blame-worthy for acting agreeabl)' thereto ; that is, unless our 
being so very bad and wicked, makes us not at all to blame for 
our badness and wickedness : And so, according to this rule, 
the viler any creature grows, and the more averse to God and 
to all good, the less he is to blame ; which is one of the gros- 
sest absurdities in the world. Therefore, 

(1.) The divine laxv which requires us to love God rvith all 
our hearts, considered as a rule of dut if ^ is, in the nature of thirigSy 
unalterable^ and absolutely incapable of any abatement^ more or 
less. The thing required, ijs, in the nature of things, our duty, 
antecedent to any consideration of an express law in the case 
— as that children ought to honor their parents, and neiglibors 
do as they would be done by, are things in themselves right, 
and duties antecedent to any consideration of an express law in 
the c?Lse,,..Eph. vi. 1. These things would have been duties, 
if there had never been any laws made concerning them, by 
God or man : Yea, they are, in their own nature, so right, that 
they cannot but be our duty ; luid to dishonor our parents, and 
cheat, and defraud, and injure our neighbor, cannot but be 
wrong : So, to love God with all our hearts is originally right 
and fit, and our duty ; and would have been so, had there ne- 
ver have been any positive, express law in the case. 

Now the grand reason why God, the great Governor of the 
world, ever made a law requiring us to love him with all our 
hearts, was because it was thus, in its own nature, so infinitely 
fit : And now to suppose that he would repeal, or alter, or abate 
this law,when the grounds and reasons of his first making of it re- 
main as forccable as ever — when the thing required is as right 
and fit as ever — and when it becomes him, as Ciovernor of the 
world, still to require it as much as ever ; — I say, to suppose 
such a thing, casts the highest reproach upon all his glorious 
perfections : It casts the higlicst reflection upon his infinite ho- 
liness^ whereby he is infinitely inclined to love right and hate 
wrong ; for it supposes him to release his creatures from doing 


right, and to allow them to do wrong.. ..a little at least : It casts 
the highest reflection vipon his impartial ju.-JiLi\ whereby he is 
infiniteiy incliRcd to give ever)" one his due ; for it supposes him 
to release his creatures from giving unto God the glory which 
is his due, and to allow them to keep back part at least : It cast* 
the highest reflection upon his stabilUij and truth ; fur it suppo- 
ses him to alter his law when there is no reason for it: yea, it 
reflects even upon \\\% goodness itself; for it is so far from bc- 
ii^ a benefit to his creatures to have this excellent altered, 
which is- so completeh- suited to the perfection and happiness 
of their nature, that it would be one of the greatest and sorest 
calamities which could happen. Like the altering all the good 
laws and rules in a family, merely to humor and gratifv a re- 
bellious child, who will not be governed. Such a child should 
be made to conform to the wholesome hnvs of the familj-, and 
not the laws be abated and brought down to a level with his bad 
temper and })cr\'erse humor : And, finallv, it casts the highest 
reflection upon the infinite ivisclotn of die great Governor of the 
world 4 for it supposes him to go counter to his own honor and 
to the good of his creatures, to counteract all his perfections, 
aud contradict the reason and nature of things ; and that mere- 
Iv in condescension unto, and in compliance with die sinful, cor- 
ru[)t taste and inclinations of an apostate, rebellious, God-ha- 
ting world. 

And now, how could the great Governor of the world clear 
and vindicate the honor of his great name, in making any abate- 
ments in this law, which requires us to love him with all our 
l»earts ? Would he say diat he had before required more love than 
-ra-s his due ? Surely, nothing can be much more blasphemous 
than to suppose this. ^V'ould he say Uiat he does not deserve sa 
much as he did P Still it is equally blasphemous to suppose thii. 
^V'ould he say that less than is his due is i^LL that is his due ? 
But this would be to contradict himself in express terms. Or 
would he openly profess to quit his riglU and freely allow his 
creatures to despise him a little, and sin sometimes, in conde- 
scension unto and compliance wiili the corrupt inclinations of 


their sinful hearts ? But this, in the nature of things, would be 
infinitely wrong and dishonorable. Upon what grounds, then, 
could the supreme Governor of the world go about to make 
abatements in a law so holy, just and good, that only requires 
us to love him with all our hearts, which, in the nature of things, 
is so infinitely right and suitable ? Or upon what grounds can 
we possibly desije any abatements to be made, unless we even 
profess that we do not like the law.. ..that we are averse to lov- 
ing God with all our hearts.. ..that it is a very tedious, self-de- 
nying thing to us, and what we can by no means freely come in- 
to ; and so, upon this footing, desire some abatements ! Or, 
which is the same thing, honestly own " that we love sin so 
"dearly that God must tolerate us in it, or we cannot approve 
*'^ of his government." 

But, indeed, God can as easil}'' cease to be, as go about to li- 
cense and tolerate the least sin ; and he had rather Heaven and 
earth should pass aivoi/^ than that the least jot or ihtlc of his law 
should faiL..M^t. v. 18. 

How can any body, therefore, once imagine that Christ came 
down from heaven and died, to purchase this abatement of the 
law of God, arid procure this lawless liberty for his rebellious 
subjects ? What ! did he desert his Father's interest and honor, 
and the honoi- of his law and government, and spill his precious 
blood, that he might pcrsviade the great Governor of ihe world to 
slacken the reins of government, and give out this impious li- 
cense to iniquity ? — Surely to suppose this, is to make Clirista 
friend to sin, and an enemy to God. 

What, then, do tht'{/ mean, who, in their pravers, presume to 
thank God for the gracious abatements which he Ikis made in his 
law ? And what do ministers mean by telling their people, from 
the pulpit, that the law is al^ated, and that sincere obedience is 
ALL that is now required of us ? — Indeed, if poor secure sin- 
ners are made to believe that this was the great business Christ 
came into the world upon, no wonder if their impious hearts 
are pleased, and if they seem to love Christ, and prize the gos- 
pel, and give thanks to God for this great goodness and condc- 


accnsion ; for hercbj- ihey arc delivered from that strictness in 
religion which they hale, and a wide door is opened for them 
to sin wiUiout hlamc : Yea, they have the comfort to Uiink that 
it is no xin not to love God with all their heart, with all their 
soul, and with all their strength ; And, gcnerallv, a verv little 
matter of religion, they Uiink, will serve. And now it's good 
times, and they bless themselves. But, alas ! They ftec/ upon 
the wind : A dectived heart hath turned tliem aside. 

But, by the way, to what purpose was it for Christ to die 
to purchase this abatement ? What need was there of it ? Or 
what good could it do ? For, if the law reallij required too muchy 
the Governor of the world was obliged, injustice, to make some 
abatements : And so, the death of Christ in the case was per- 
fectly needless. And if the law required but just enough^ the 
Governor of the world could not, in justice, make any abate- 
ments : And so Christ must have died in vain, and totally lost 
his end. 

But, indeed, Christ never came into the world upon this de- 
sign ; as he expressly declares, in Mat. v. IT, \S.. ..Think not 
that I come to deatroij the Itnv or the prophets : J am not come to 
destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto ijou, till heaven and 
earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the 
laxu, till all be fulfilled. And this is die very thing he con- 
demns die Pharisees for, through all this chapter, that they, in 
effect, taught this doctrine, that the law was abated : that they 
taught, that although die law did forbid some external and 
more gross acts of sin, yet it did not the lirst stiiring of cornip- 
tion at heart, and some lesser iniquities : For instance, that 
" they must not commit murder ; but that it was no harm to be 
" angry without cause, and speak reproachfully, and keep a sc- 
** cret grudge at heart.... (trrw 21 — 2G.) That they must not 
" commit adultery ; but that it was no harm to have secret las- 
** civious thoughts.... (ufz-ic 27 — 30.) That diey must not be 
" guilty oiperjury ; but that there was no harm in little petty 
" oaths in common conversation.... (ucr^f 33 — 3".) That they 
" must not hate their friends ; but there was no harm in hating 



" their enemies ;" (verse 43 — 47.) These, and such like al- 
lowances, iliey taught, were made m the law ; and so, that such 
things were not sinful. But our Savior condemns their doc- 
trine, as fake and damning ; and insists upon it, that the law is 
not abated, xuid never shall be ; but says, it still requires us to 
be perfiXtyUS our /wovenl/j Father is pcrfect....(\-evsc Ar8.) and 
declares, that if our righteousness exceedctlinctthe righteoicsness 
of the scribes and Pharisees^ (who were so mudi for abating the 
law) xve shall never enter iiito the kingdom of heaven. ..{ycrso. 20.) 
&ofar was our blessed Savior from any design to abate the ho- 
ly law of God, or lessen our obligations to a perfect conformity 
to it : And indeed, if Christ had died, and should die a thou- 
sand times, to purchase an abatement of the law, (if it be law- 
ful to make such a supposition) it would be to no purpose ; 
for it cannot be abated, unless God ceases to be what he is : 
For so long as God is infinitely lovely, we shall iiecessarily be 
under an infinite obligation to love him with a// our heart, and 
with all our strength ; and it will necessarily be infinitely 
wrong not to do so. The truth is, that God's sending his 
Son into the world to die for the redcmpiion of sinners, instead 
of freeing us from our origin;il natural oblig-ations to keep the 
law, binds us more strcH^gly so to do ; as we shall afterwards 
see. Psalm cxix. 160,... Thij xvord is true from the beginning : 
And every one of thy righteous jiu/gments endureth forever : 
(Vcr. 128.) I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be 
righJ. (Ver. 144.) The righteousness of thy testimonies is ev- 
erlasting. (Ver. 152.) Thou has founded them forever . And 
therefore (vcr. 160,^ Every one of them will endure forever ,• 
as if the Psalmist had said, " The thing rc([uired in ihy law 
*' is, in its own natiu-e, right, everlastingly right ; and, there- 
*' fore, as Governor of the woild, thou hast l)y law forever set- 
" tied and cstabliohed it its duty — by a law never to be altered, 
*' but to eiidure forever : And forever, therefore, will it cn- 
" dure." 

Ohj. Put is it fair and just fr God to require more of his 
creatures than they can do ? 


A\s. What ai-c we come to, ii> this apofitatc world, that we 
cannot sec it to be just and fair, inthj j;;TeatCk>vcmor of heav- 
tn and earth, the infmitoly glorious Cicd, to require us, as his 
creatures, so much as to love him, w'uh a// our hearts ? What ! 
Is this too much ? Is this more than he deser\es from us ? Or 
do'js the truth lie hcrc.^lhat we hate him so, tliat we cannot 
fmd it in ousiicarts lolove him ; and therefore cr}-, " He must 
" not insist upon it ; or, if he does, he deals unjustly, and is 
" verv hard with us J" But is not this the veiy thing those cill- 
v/jus did, who hated their Prince, and sent after iiim, saying, 
M'f win not have thin man to rei^n over us ?*.... Luke xix. 14. 
These hints maj- serve as an answer for the present : But of 
this more hereafter. 

But while i,onu- are pleadings t-J^t Christ died to purchase 
an abatement of the law, others carry die point still further, and 
saif that Christ died entirely to dhninnul it ; and tlwt now it 
xvholly ceases to be a rule of life to believers : whenas one 
gieat and declared design of Christ's coming into the \vorld 
was to recover his people to a conformity thereto : (^l^it. ii. 11, 
12, 13.) Oh how men love their corruptions, and Irate God 
and his hol\' law, and long to have it cashiered and removed out 
of the world, that so they may live as tiiey list, and \et escape 
the reproaches of their consciences here, and eternal punish- 
ment hereafter ! But God sitteth King forever, and will assert 
the rights of his crown, and maintain the honor of his majestv , 
and the glor)- of his great name, and vindicate his injured law ; 
although it be in the eternal damnation of millions of his re- 
bellious subjects ; Luke xix. 27.... Rut those rmneenemies^ivhi'h 
leould not that I afi-yuld reign over them, bring hither, and vhi/ 
them before me. And here, I)\- the wnw, we mav see what aii 
aversion men have to right thoughts of God and divine things ; 
and may be convinced of the absolute necessits' of a superna- 
tural, all-ccM^qucring light, to remove these prejudices, and 
make men see ami believe the truth, and love, and cordially cm- 
brace it. {jfohn viii. 47 — I Cor. ii. ! k) A holv God does not 
appear inlinitely glorious and amiable to an unholy heart ; and 


sinners, not seeing the grounds of loving God with all their 
hearts, do not see the reason of the law ; they do not see how 
ha/i/fjust^ and ^oo</ the law is, and the carnal mind htyn^ enmity 
against God^ is, at the same time, enmity against the /aw, which 
is a transcript of the divine nature.. ..(/?owz. viii. 7.) And hence, 
sinners do not love to believe either God or his law to be what 
they really are : And this temper makes them blind to what 
the scripture says, and leads them to frame a false image of 
God, and entertain false notions of his law, that they may have 
a God and a law both to their own minds. 

And now, as are men's notions of the lazv^ such are their 
notions of r<'//^/(37i ; the essence of which principally consists 
in a conformity to the law. 

Hence, here is one ; he pleads- for great abatements in the 
law, and he contents himself with the mere form of religion. 
He is not unjust, nor an extortioner, nor an adulterer ; but 
much better than some of his neighbors : He prays in his fam- 
ily, goes to public worship, and attends the Sacrament, and 
thinks himself a very good man ; like him in Luke xviii. 9, 10, 
&c. But as for the doctrines relating to our natitral depravity ^ 
regeneration^ conversion, faith, communion with God, and all the 
inside of religion, he understands nothing about them ; they 
seem as strange as it did to Nicodemus to hear Christ discourse 
about the nexv birth.... yohn'in. And all the talk about the i?!- 
rvard influences of the holy spirit, in awakening, convincing, 
humbling, and converting a sinner, and in enlightening, teach- 
ing, quickening, comforting, and sanctifying a believer, is quite 
unintelligible ; for these things do not come into his notions 
of religion. According to his opinion, the law is brought down 
so low, that it is an easy thing to become a good man : The 
change is but small, and there is scarce any need of the spirit's 
help ; much less any room for the exercise of sovereign grace ; 
for he is so good-natured, that he can become good of his own 
free will, (i. c. according to his notions of goodness,) and do 
that wlii':h shall clTectually entitle him to the promises : And 
thus he has the staff in his own hand. And now here is a 


charming religion, perfectly suited to the taste of an apostnte 
world ; for it is calculatt-cl to (iviict the conscience, while the 
heart lies out estranged from God, and dead in sin.../v'(5m.vii.8,9. 
Especially, so much of it as is for their credit, and apparently 
serves their worldly interest, will pretty readily and heartily be 
fallen in with ; and the best have their failings. man is per- 
J'tct.. ..'Mid J endeavor to be sincere. ...-and the best have their 

chuSts assurance is not to be attained., and such-like pleas, 

help to keep their consciences secure. And now,0 how they love 
those ministers, that cry, peace., peace I but hate those that 
would search things to the bottom, and sound an, alarm to se- 
cure sinners, and deluded hypocrites. The same temper that 
makes them hate God and his law, makes them hate his min- 
isters too : And they are for another kind of God, and for 
another kind of law — another kind of religion, and another 
kind of ministers, that they may have all to their mind. And, 
when all is done, they are confident they are now in the right, 
because they are suited : They love to have it so, and there- 
fore firmly believe it is so. 

Hence, again, here is another., who has been mightilv terri- 
fied, and in great distress, under a sense of the wrath of God 
and the dreadfulness of dain nation ; but, in the distressing hour, 
he has had it revealed to him (by the spirit of God, he thinks) 
tliat his sins arc forgiven ; and now he is sure of heaven, and 
is ravished at the thoughts of eternal glory : he holds it a great 
siti to doubt ; and all his religion consists in fniih and joy, /. e. 
in believing that his sins are forgiven, and rejoicing in his bles- 
sed and happy and safe estate, and in the expectation of future 
glory : But as for a real conlormit)' to the law., it makes up no 
part of his religion. He understands rightly nothing what the 
law requires.. ..he Is neitiier sensible of his duty to God, or to 
his fellow-men ; yea, he hates to he;ir any thing about /^r?f or aj/- 
tif : It is all legal., he cries, ami tends to kill rel/g/on^and toiuouud 
iveak christians., and grieve and drive axvay the spirit of grace ; 
and no prcachingsuits his taste, but what consists in telling over 
and commending such experiences as his, and in setting forth 


the love of God and Christ to such, and calling upon such to 
believe and rejoice, and never doubt their state again : Aixl, in 
general, those things which tend to strengthen his confidence and 
increase his joy, he esteems right and good ; and all things of 
a contrary tendency he esteems %vrong and had. This seems to 
be his only criterion of right and wrong, and the only rule he 
makes use of in drawing up a judgment j but as for the /aw, it 
is of no use with him. There is doubtless many a man that 
feels and act<3 and lives as if the law was abated, who yet will 
not plead lor that doctrine : So, doubtless, there is many a man 
that feels and acts and lives as if the law wholly ceased to be a 
rule of life, who yet will not venture to say so. The force of 
education, and their worldly interest and credit keep men ma- 
ny times from shewing what they are by an open profession : 
however, secretly this temper reigns within them ; yea, some- 
times it breaks out into open light, in their visible conduct. — » 
But, as strange as it may seem, there are multitudes that not on- 
Iv have the root of these things in their hearts, but really believe 
them and openly profess and plead for them. Hence it is, on 
the one hand, that the Arminian^ Ncononiian^ and Pdagiam er- 
rors have taken their rise*, and the Antinomian on the other. — 
Wrong notions of God lie at the bottom ; and then wrong no- 
tions of the law ; and then wrong notions of religion in general : 
and all originally proceed and grow up out of the wrong tem- 
per of men's minds ; for all unregenerate men would fain have 
a God^ and a /an;, and a religionto suit the temper of their hearts. 
Micali iv. 5... .For all people xuill walk cvenj one in the name of 
his G'jcL 

In the mean time, tlie truly godly man, whoseesthat the oh- 
nidation which he is under, to love (iod with all his heart, re- 
sulting' from the excellency of the divine nature, is unelmngca- 
hle^ and that the law which retjuires this is unalterable^ in- 
stead of going about to contrive a religion that may suit the na- 
tural temper of liis heart, is convinced that the temper of his 
heart is the very thiiig tiiat must be changed : He is convinced 
of his infinite obligation to be altogellier such as the law requires 

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him to be, and that he isiiifiniiely blamtahlc for the least defect. 
Hence, those words. The laiu h /loh/^Jiist^ aiui ^'■ooil....the luiu 
is spiritual ; but I am cariutly sold inuUr tin : ivi ctcht'd man 
that J am ! do exactly express the thoughts of die most exalted 
Sainton e;uth ; ) ea,evcu of die great Saint Paul liiin«t If.... ;"«?(?;«. 
vii. 12, 14, 24. Indeerl, had St. Paul thought that the law was 
wholly disannidkd, or much abated, he might then have ima- 
gined diathe was so good as to be quite free from sin, or jiret- 
ty near being so, and been ready to speak the language of die 
Pharisee — God, J thank thci\ I am not as other mm. But now, 
notwithstanding all his high and wonderful attainments, yet, 
when he considered what the Uuv was which he was under, aiKl 
how very far he was from being exactly w hat that requiied, the 
native language of his humble heart is, lam carnal^ sold under 
sin ! Oivretihcd man tluit lam!* And now the Apostle,from 
a sense of his infinite obligations to be what the law requires, 
and of his great distimce from &\?,^forgfts the things rvhich are 
behind ; and he rw/w....he wrestles.. .. he Jights... .he strives.. .h^ 
keeps under his body. ...he Uiys aside every xveight ; in short, he 
appc-iOTi like a man in a perfect agony ; so great tvas his sense 
of duty y arul so much had he to do : And, at the same time, from 
a sense of his impotcncy and of his unworduness....of his need 
of the redeemer and the sanctificr, it is his maxim to pray al- 
iL'aySy and to ask all Uiings in the name of Christ. Now, in his 
example we have the temper which prevails more or less in ev- 
ery godl)' man exact:)- painted : And thus we have had pictured, 
in miniature, three different sorts of religion, arising from three 
ditVerent nations of the lav,-. 'I hey;/T///rf is begun ; and, in the 
sequel, I purpose to paint all three as njar to tlie life as I can, 
that we may see what they are, and wherein they differ ; w hich 

• Some have thought that St. Pnv.l haJ arrived soDif.h to perfection, that 
he could not speak these words of bimsrlf. Their n:is:a!'.e set-ms to aris? 
from their wronjj no'ionsof the Lav, to which St. /'au/ciiiparcd himself, 
and according to which he drew up hi» judgment. And iV'-m the "an^i 
source it seems to be, that they can thinii those v/ords, {'•.•er.'2.2,') apflical.l* 
to the unrcgcnera:e.../i/f//^i< in the lav: ij God after the ih-uafd num. \N l.eti, 
in truth, the unrc;jcneratc are, in their temper, dinmetricail'. opposite to tKc 
law....i?ojn. viii. 7- 


is right, and which is wrong. — But so much for the first infer- 
ence, that the latv^ as a ridtofdutij^ cannot be repealed or abated. 
And now to proceed, 

2. From what has been said, it is evident that the laxv^ in its 
threatenlngs of eternal damnation for the least sin^ is eqiiallij in- 
capable of a7iy repeal or abatement : for if our obligation to love 
God with all our hearts and obey him in every thing, resulting 
from the divine perfections, is infinite, eternal, and unchangea- 
ble ; and if, therefore, the least sin necessarily be infinitely evil, 
and dtsersing of an infinite punishment, and unalterably so, then 
the law, considered as threatening eternal damnation for the least 
sin, is, in its own nature, unalterably holy and just ; and conse- 
quently it cannot be repealed, consistently with the holiness, jus- 
tice, and honor of the great Governor of the world. If the Gov- 
ernor of the world had, in a mere arbitrary manner^ made a law 
that sin should be punished with eternaldamnation,thenhe might, 
in a mere arbitrary maJiner^ have repealed it : but since, in the 
nature of things, ^Msf/ce called for it, that such a law should be 
made, therefore, so long as the grounds and reasons of the law 
remain, the law cannot, in justice^ be repealed. 

None cun deny but that the great Governor of the world has 
actually made a law that sin shall be punished with eternal dam- 
nation ; and none can deny but that this law is to be put in ex- 
ecution, to the full, at and after the great judgment-day ; But 
lijuMticehad not called for it, surely the i?ifinitely good Goy0^or 
of the world would never have made such a law, much less 
would he ever put it in execution : for, to-lnake and <^^^iNH^ 
such a law, in a merely arbitrary, sovereign manner, when, m 
the nature of things, jiwf/ce docs not call for it, would be infinite- 
ly cruel and t} rannical, and perfectly inconsistent with the di- 
vine pcrrccticns, as is self-evident.. ..Sec Genesis xviii. 25. and 
Eze/iiel xviii. 25. 

But, then, if the great Governor of the world made this law 
not arbitrarily^ but because, in the nature odhin^s^ justice call- 
ed for it, then, so long as the reason and ground of the law re- 
main, the lav* itself cannot, injustice, evei- be repealed. If jus- 


lice callcfl for its being made, then it cannot be un-madi\ con- 
sistently wilb justice, so lonjpja^ the ground and reason of it re- 
main, as is self-evident. But the reason of the law is, in the 
nature of things, wn/i/ZtraA/f ; for the reason of the law was the 
infinite evil of sin, whereby it deserved an infinite punishment. 
As long, therefore, as sin lemalns an infniiie evil, so long must 
the law stand unrepealed : but sin will always be an infinite evil, 
so long as we are under infinite obligations to love God with all 
our hearts, and obey him in every thing, which we shall ahva\s 
be, so long as Cod remains infiniteK glorious and amiable, and 
this will be forever ; therefore, this law can ncvjr possibly, con- 
sistendy with dWinc J usticey be repealed. 

For any, therefore, to desire to have it repealed, is to turn 
enemy to the holiness, and justice, and honor of the supreme 
Ruler of the world, as well as to his law and government ; and 
argues that they have no regard to the rectitude and fitness of 
things, but only to self-interest ; as those among men are real 
enemies to the civil government who desire the good and whole- 
some laws thereof to be repealed ; And it is upon this ground 
that St. Paul concludes carnal men to be at enviitt/ against God, 
because they are enemies to his LAw....(y?5?«. viii. 7.) For if 
men loved God, they would be disposed to love his law and 
government, which express his nature. 

To suppose, therefore, that the Son of God came into the 
world and died, that the law, in its t/ireatening.f, might be re- 
pealedy is to suppose that he also is turned an enemy to God. 
^is holiness and justice. his law and government ; and that 
he is properly gone over to be on the side of his father's rebel- 
lious subjects. 

Besides, to what purpose would it have been (on the hypoth- 
esis of these men), for Christ to have died, that the law, in its 
threatcnings, might be repealed ? What need was there of it? 
or what good would it have done ? For if, injustice^ it ought to 
have been repealed, there was no need of his (1\ ing to procure 
this ; or if, in^'/A^/Zce, it ought not to be repealed, then dying 

could not procure it, and so would do no good. The righteous 



Governor of the world would have repealed it of his own ac- 
cord, if it had been right and fit so to do ; and if, in the nature 
of things, k was not right, then not any thing whatever could 
persuade him to do it. 

But the truth is, Christ came into the world, and died to an- 
sxver all the demands of the laxu ; that so, although the sinner be 
saved, yet the law might never be repealed, but be firmly estab- 
lished : for the Governor of heaven and earth was utterly 
against the law being repealed, as a thing in itself infinitely un- 
reasonable : And therefore the Apostle says. Do we make void 
the lazu through faith P God forbid! yea^ we establish the laxu..., 
Rom. iii. 31. And indeed it was nothing but God's infinite 
aversion to repeal the law, as a thing in itself infinitely unfit 
and wrong, that was the thing which made the death of Christ 
needful : for, if the law might have been repealed, sinners might 
have been saved without any more ado ; but, if it could not, 
and must not be repealed, then the demands of it must be an- 
swered by some means or other, or every sinner damned : And 
now Christ stepped in and did this ; and so secured the honor 
of God's holincr.3 and justice, law and government, and open- 
ed a way for the sinner's salvation. And this account of the 
reason of Christ's death the scriptures plainly give us : — Gal, 
iii. 10, 13, 14:. ..Cursed is every one that continucth not in all 
things written in the book of the lato to do them. — Christ hath 
redeemed us from the airse of the law, being made a curse for us. 
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles^ through 
fcsus Christ : For (Heb. ix. 22.) xuithoxit shedding of blood 
there is no remission : Therefore (Rom. iii. 25, 26.) Christ was 
set forth to be a propitiation for declare his righteousness 
....that he jnight bcjust^ and the justificr of him which bclieveth 
in Jesus : And hence (ver. 31,) Do wc nude void the laiu 
through faith ? God forbid ! ijca^ rue establish the laiv. 

Yea, the Apostle evidently sets out upon th's hypothesis, that 
the law is not repealed, but stands in lull force : He lays this 
down as -a first principle^ \i\ that argumenta!.i\e discourse which 
wc have in the three first chapters of his cpisde to the Romans : 


Chap. i. ver. 18....77if ivratfi of God is revfaUd from heaven 
(igiiinat all ungotilineis ami unrig/iteousness- of men. And taking 
this lor gi-anted, he goes on to prove, that both fni'sand Greeks 
(ire all undtr av/i, and so the whole xvorld guiltij htfore God ; to 
the 19th verse of the 3d chapter : And hence he argues, that by 
t'u- deeds of the lani> no flesh cnihl be justifvd. But now, If tlic 
law was repealed, the whole world was not guilty before dod, 
nor anv one in the world: For sin is not imputed where there 
is no /cm'.. ..Rom. v. 13. And if the law was repealed, what 
need was there of such a louj^ train of arguments, to prove, that 
no flesh could be justihcd by die law ? For it would have been 
enough to have said, thai a repealed law could neither justify 
nor condemn an\' lx)d\-. And whv does he use such arguments 
as he docs ? For thus he reasons, " The law requires perfect 
" obedience as a condition of life, and threatens tribulation and 
*' wrath against every soul of man that doth evil : But fexcs and 
" Gentiles have all sinned : therefore are all guilty and condcmn- 
" ed according to law ; and consequentlv cannot be cleared and 
"justitied bv law :" For all this reasoning supposes that the 
law is as much in force as ever it was : And, accordinglv, he 
goes on to show, that 'the design of Christ's death was to an- 
swer the demands of the law, that diere might be a way open- 
ed for the salvation of sinners, consistent with divine justice, 
and, at the same time, the law not be made void, but establish- 
ed ; as we have before ol)scrved. — And now Uiis being the case, 
Hence, we find the scriptures every where look upon those 
who have not a special interest in the righteousness of Christ, 
bv faith, as being as much under die wrath of God and curse of 
the law, as if Christ had never died. John iii. 18.... /A' t/uit be- 
lieveth not is condemned already : Ver. 06.. ..The wrath of God 
abideth upon him : And, Gal. iii. 10....^.? many as are of the 
works of the Icnv are under the curse : And, Horn. i. 18.... The 
xvrath of God is revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness and 
unrighteousness of men, ivho hoU the truth in unrighteousness. 
Thus the wrath of God is revealed against die unbeliever ; yea, 
abides upon him ; yea, the law condemns and curses him ; But 


if the law had been repealed by the death of Christ, all the world 
would have been freed from the curse : For a repealed law can 
neither bless the righteous, nor curse the wicked ; but stands 
for nothing. 

And hence, also, we find that Christless sinners, w^hen awa- 
kened by the holy spirit to see and feel what a state they are in, 
are always conv inced that they are under the wrath of God and 
curse of the law ; and hereby are made to understand their 
need of a Savior.. ..(/?o;n. iii. 19, 20.) But if the law had been 
repealed by the death of Christ, this could not be ; for they 
would then have been under no wrath, nor curse ; nor would 
any have ever felt a spirit ofbondagey as they do in every age 
of the world, and as they used to do in St. Paul's day....(i?ow. 
viii. 15.) For it is the law only that works wrath. ..JKom. iv. 15. 

And hence we shall find, even all the world shall find, and 
thousands and thousands to their everlasting sorrow, that when 
the day of judgment co«ies, the law shall be executed with the 
utmost severity upon all that knoru not God^ and obey not the 
go "pel of Jesus Christ....(ll. Thes. i. 7, 8.) And God's justice,in 
so doing, will shine bright in the sight of all worlds ; for he de- 
signs, on that day, to reveal the righteousness of his judgments : 
and hence it is called the daij of the revelation of the righteous 
judgment of God.... (Kom. ii. 5.) But if the law is repealed by 
the death of Christ, and if God has told the world that he has 
repealed it.. ..for him now to revive it, and judge and condemn 
the world by it, would be to cast contempt upon the death of 
Christ, and deceive his poor creatures, and unmercifully and 
unrighteously judge and condemn them, by a law that was re- 
pealed.. ..a law they never were under, and so ought never to 
have been judged by. From the whole, therefore, it is evident, 
that the law that threatens eternal damnation for the least sin, 
never has been, and never will be repealed. 

AVell, then, (if this be the case) may ministers thunder hell 
and damnation against a secure, wicked world ; and well may 
poor sinners tremble under a sense of divine wrjxth, when their 
tyes begin to be opened to see where \ht^ arc : for all tliose 


comforts that the formalist gets by thhikinj» the law is abated 
ortlisaniuilleil,an(l so his state safe, arc but the result of an er- 
roneous head, and a heart secure in sin. And what has been 
said under this particular, will rationally account for all the ag- 
ony and distress of an awakened sinner. When God, the 
great Governor of the world, the revenger of sin, begins to 
make the poor sinner remember his ways and his doings which 
have not been right, and see what a creature he is, and what a 
condition he is in, and be sensible of what he deserves ; and 
when he comes to understand that his soul is forfeited, and that 
it is right that justice should take place, and that God is at lib- 
erty to do as he pleases, surely this must be heart-rending, 
soul-distressing to a jx)or, sinful, guilty, hell-deserving creature. 
And if God will not repeal the law, but still insist upon it, 
that it is holy and just, no wonder the sinner is made to own 
it too, before ever he is pardoned : For it would be unbecom- 
ing the supreme Lord of the universe, to grant a pardon to a 
guilty rebel, that is too high-hearted to own that the law, by 
which he stands condemned, is holy andjust. O how right it 
is, that the sinner should come down, and see, and know, and 
own forever, that he is justly condemned, and, as such, apply 
himself to tlie sovereign grace of God, through Jesus Christ, 
for a pardon ! And O how sovereign, and free, and divine, is 
that grace that pardons and saves the poor, sinful, guilty, hell- 
deserving wretch, through Jesus Christ! (^Rom. iii. 19,27.) 
And thus as God the Father honors the law, by refusing to repeal 
it, and Ciod the Son, hy answering its demands — so does God, 
the Holy Ghost, by making the jwor sinner sec, and feel, and 
own, that it is holy and just, before ever he intemallv reveals the 
mercy of God, through Jesus Christ, unto him ; so that the law 
is honored, and sin is embittered, and the sinner humbled, and 
grace glorified, all at once : As in the external revelation God 
has made in his word, the law is before the gospel ; so it is in 
internal influences and operations of the holy spirit upon the 
elect ; and that for the same reason, that the laxv might be a 
school-master, to bring yntn to Christ. 


To conclude, from all that has been said, we may learn what 
to think of the religion and of the hopes of these two sorts of 
men. (1.) The legal hypocrite^ who, supposing that the good 
eld law is repealed and laid aside, and that a new law^ only re- 
quiring sincere obedience^ is established in its room, merely from 
sell-love, and for self-ends, sets about duty and endeavors to be 
sincere ; and here on this foundation builds all his hopes of ac- 
ceptance in the sight of God : for since the law is not repealed, 
but stands in full Ibrce, therefore tlie religion of such is not that 
thing which God requires or will accept ; and their neru law is 
a ivhim, and their hopes are all built on the sand : Their whole 
scheme results from a total ignorance of God, and his law, and 
the present state of mankind; and is entirely built on falsehood. 
(2.) The evangelical hypocrite — all whose y^/^Aandyoy original- 
ly result from a supposed disco\'ery of the love of God, or love 
of Christ, or that his sins are pardoned. This discovery is the 
foundation of his faidi, and his faith is the foundation of his joy 
and of all his religion : And yet the thing discovered is a lie ; 
for, as has been proved, every one, until he is a believer, until he 
has acted faith, is not pardoned, but condemned — is not belov- 
ed of God, but under his wrath ; and, therefore, to have par- 
don of sin and the love of God discovered before the first act of 
faith, and to have such a discovery lav the foundation for the 
first act of faith, and a foundation for all religion, is to be impo- 
sed upon with a lie, and to have a gross falsehood lie at the 
foundation of their faith.... their religion, and of all their hopes. 
The legal hypocrite may be convinced by such scriptures as 
these.... Z-?/>^t' xviii. 9 — 13.. ..Rem. iii. 20 — 31. and Chapter iv. 
ver. 5. ; which prove that a man cannot find acceptance with 
God by his own righteousness : And the vvangvUcal hvj^ocrite 
may be convinced by such scriptures as these. ...yo/i/i iii. 18, 36. 
Acts iii. 19. ; which prove that a sinner is not pardoned till af- 
ter faidi. A true sight and sense of the law would effectually 
convince the one, and the other, that all their hopts are built on 
wrong apprehensions of things, and that all their religion is coun- 
terfeit ; and that tliey are yet in the gallofbitternessandljonds 


of miqvrit\- : and the one would no longer venture his soul on 
his own riglUeousness^ nor the otlior ou his disavt-nj. Tht hiw 'a 
insisting upon perfect, sinless obedience, would convince the one 
that his own righteousness might not be depended upon ; and 
liic law's cursing every unbeliever, would convince the other 
that his discovery was false ; and the law's requiring us to love 
God primarily for his own beaut}-, would convince both of their 
graceless estates, in as much as the religion of both primarily 
takes its rise from self-love. It is from the want of a realizing 
sight and sense of the nature and extent of the law, and that out 
of Christ we are exposed to all the curses thereof, that a sinful, 
guilty world are so insensible of their graceless, and their wretch- 
ed and miserable condition, and so apt to Hatter themselves that 
thev are rich, and increased iu goods, and stand in need of noth- 
ing. Rom. ^■ii. 8, 0.. ..Without the hnv sin was dead. Ixva* 
olive xuithoitt ilie Unv once. 

Thus we see that the obligation which we were under to love 
God with all our hearts, resulting from the infinite excellcncij of 
the divine nature., antecedent to all selfish considerations, is in- 
finitehj., eternallij^ imd unchangeably binding : And thus we see 
a variet\'of important consequences ncccssarilv following there- 
from : And I have insisted the longer upon the nature of this 
obligation, not only because it is the first and greatest,but because 
it has a mighty influence in all our additional ohYx^-WAOus. — For, 
5. And lastly. It is from the infinite excellciicij of the divine 
nature^ that all our additional obligatioju originally derive their 
strength., their energy ., their binding power. The infinite ex- 
cellency of the divine nature so entirely la\s ilie foundation of its 
being ovxr duty to love God wiih all our hearts, that were it not 
for this, it would cease to be our duly, notwithstanding all oth- 
er considerations. If he were not, by nature, God, it would 
not be fit tliat we should love and worship him as God, upon 
any account whatsoevi:r : He could have no such right to us, or 
authority over us, as to make it our duv%- ; nor could he ren<ler 
it om- duty, by showing us any kindness \vh.;tsoever: Yea, if he 
were not, by nature, God, it would l)c ivrong for us to pay liim 


(fhine adoration ; it would be idolatry ; it would be worship- 
ping one as God, who, by nature, is nvf God : And by the same 
argument which the orthodox have been wont to use against the 
Arians^ who deny the divinity of Chr\st....Jfhe be not a divine 
person^ he ought not to have divine -worship paid him; — I say, 
by the same argument, if God were not, by nature, God, it 
could not, upon any account, be our duty to love and worship 
him as God. It is his being, by nature, God — his being what 
he is, and his infinite excellency in being such, which therefore 
lays the original foundation of all our obligations, and which 
gives life and energy to all : And, accordingly, we may obser\'c, 
that the original ground and reason upon which God, as Gov- 
ernor of the world, acts, in making a law that we should love 
him zi'ifh all our hearts^ is, because he is the Lord ; as is evident 
from the tenor of the lawitself : — Thou shalt love theL,ORr>^hc.i.e. 
because he is the Lord, &c. Yea, it is upon this ground, origi- 
nally, that God takes it upon him to give all his laws to us ; for 
this is the constant style.... 77mA' afid thus shall y£ do, for I am 
THE Lord. 

Those, therefore, wlio arc influenced to love and worship God 
not at all, because he is God, but altogether from other consid- 
erations. ...not at all from a sense of his infinite excellency, but 
altogether on other accounts, are so far from being truly religious, 
that they are, indeed, guilty of great wickedness in all they do : 
for although they pretend to love and worship God, yet it is not 
at all because he is God ; — though they pretend to pay divine 
adoration to him, yet it is not at all because he is a divine Be- 
ing : so that when they pretend to pay divine worship and ado- 
ration to God, it is merely from some selfish consideration.... 
from self-love, and for self-ends ; — there is no true regard to 
God, but all centers in self: so that w^, indeed, is their idol^ 
and the onlv God they serve ; and their pretending to love and 
worship God is mere mocker ij. When they pretend to love and 
worship God, it is not at all Ijccause he is God. ...not at all from 
a sense of his divine glory, but only to appease his anger and 
obtain his favor, or because they consider liim as their friend 


and benefactor. And now, to come to Clod and pretend to 
worship him as it he was Ciodjjuid yctnottodo it at all because 
he is God, but for mean, and mercenar)', and selfish ends, is a 
very compUcated wickedness ; and to think to please God in 
this wav, and get into favor by this means, discovers such igno- 
rance and contempt of God, and a frame of iieart so full of se- 
cret blasphemy, spiritual idolatry, pride and hypocrisy, as can- 
not easily be expressed : They practically deny his divinity, 
yet pretend to pay him divine worship; I'hcy pretend to serve 
God, yet rc;dly intend only to serve themselves : They make 
as if they loved God, but only love themselves : Yet so imoU 
erably mean are their thoughts of God, that they expect to 
please him by all this. To make the best of it, all that religion 
is mere hypocrisy, which does not primarily take its rise from 
a sense of the infinite excellency of the divine nature. 

Thus, then, we see what is the first and dxief motive of a 
genuine love to God. He is a Being of infinite understanding, 
and of almighty power — infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, 
goodness, and truth. ...and so a Being of infinite glory and ex- 
cellenc)'....and so infinitely amiable, and infinitclv wordiy to be 
loved with all our hearts. And this obligation is binding ori- 
ginally in itself, antecedent to a consideration of any other mo- 
tive whatsoever : and it is infinitely, eternally, and unchange- 
ably binding, and gives life, and energ\', and strengih to all 
other obligations. And hence, if we do love God with all our 
hearts, we do but our duty, and deserve no thanks ; but we 
are infinitely to blame for the least defect, and can never do any 
thing to atone for it, but deserve everlasting danuiation. And 
it will always be our duty Uius to love God, and the least defect 
will be always thus blame-worthv, let our circumstances, as to 
happiness or misery, be what thes' will. All our hearts will be 
always due to C^od, and we shall always stand bound to pay 
this debt, whether we have any heart for it or no : and God 
will always appear such an infinite enemy to the least defect, as 
in his law he has declared himself to be ; nor is there any hope 
©four finding acceptance in his sight, unless, it be bv a union 



to, and interest ill, him who has answered all the demands 
of the hnv, in the room of those wlio beheve in him. And all 
pretence of love to God, which does not take its rise from this 
foundation, is but mere hypocrisy. All these consequences 
so necessarily follow, from a supposition of the infinite excel- 
lency and amiablenessof the divine nature, and so evidently, as 
that, if God be but seen aright, a sense of his infinite beauty 
will immediately assure the heart that diesc things are so. A 
sense of his infinite glory will make us see and feel that we are 
under infinite obligations to love him with all our hearts, and 
d\at we could deserve no thanks for doing so, but that the least 
defect is infinitely wrong, &c. A sense of the infinite glor)- of 
Ciod will effectually establish the heart in these things against 
all the subtle arguments and fair pretences of heretics. A sense 
of the infinite gloi-y of God, immediately imparted to the soul by, 
the spirit of God, whereby the heart is thus divinely established 
in the belief of the truth, is, therefore, that iinctianfrom the holy 
OJie, which all the saints have, whereby they aie effectually se- 
cured from being finally led away by false teachers ; at least, 
that unction consists pardy in this, (I. yohn ii. 20—27,) And 
at the same time that the people of God ai-e thus established in 
the belief of these truths, relating to law and duty, from a sense 
of the infinite glory of God ; I say, at the same time this sense 
of the infinite glory of God begets a disposition in the heart to 
conform to this law and do this duty. And thus it is that God 
xvrhcs his Icnv in our hearts^ and puts it in our imvard parts^ 
when he intends to become our Gc(7',and to make us his people..^, 
(iieb. viii. 10, 11.) And hence it begins to be the nature oi xh^ 
people of God, to love him with all dieir hearts ; and their 
views and their temper, and evtr\' tiling else being thus entirely 
neiv^ hence thev are tailed new creatures. Oldthiii'j^s are passed 
axvaif^and all things are become neiv. I Jut now, this sense of . 
the infinite glorv of God, which thushus the very lowest foun- 
dation of true religion, is entirely left out of all false religions. 
And by //u'.v, true religion siands distinguished, as something 
•pecifically dilferent hum all the false religions in the world. 


And hence wc may obsen-e, that it is spoken of in scripture, as 
Romethinq peculiar to true saints, that ihcy are (iod and know 
Ciod. Johnviii. 19, 55.... 2V neither know mr, mrmij Father. 
Johnxiv. \9....Thexvorldseeth meno morr^hut tfeseeme. I.John 
'i\\.&... .Whosoever sinneth^ hath not seen hirn^ >irither knoiimhim. 
I. John ii. Z....Herebif we do know that XL-e know hnn^'rfive keep 
his commojulments. I. John i\'. 7, 8....£u<'rj/ one that bvcth^ 
knoxveth God. He that lovet/i :««, knoxoeth not God, And ihc 
unrcgt-nerate, not knowing God. ...not itavinjja sense of his in- 
finite glory to lay the foundation of their love and of their reli- 
gion, hence all their love and all their relitjion entirely take their 
rise from mere selfish considerations, and nodiing but self-love 
lies at bottom. And hence it is natural for unrcgencrate men 
lo think they deser\e someOiingfor their duties, and as natural 
to be insensible of the infinite evil of their sins : And so it is 
their nature to magnify and be proud of their own goodness, 
and to extenuate and be unhumbled for tlK-ir badiuiss. And 
from hence results our native aversion io faith and repentanccy 
and contrariety to the gospel-way of salvation. And now yiexv 
gospcLi^ nciu sorts of faith and repentance are coined, neii' notions 
of religion contrived, to suit the depraved temper and vitiated 
taste of unhumbled, impenitent sinners, ^^ho are concerned to 
secvu'e the'u- own interest, but care not what becomes of God's 
honor. Hence errors take their ru.c, and professing christians 
are di\ ided into parties, and one runs this way, and another that, 
and all hope to get to heaven at last. And now, at length, after 
so gi'eat a variety of inferences and remarks, and so large a con- 
sideration of the first and chief motive of a genuine love to 
God, I proceed, 

2. To take a shorty'icwoUhe additional obligations which we 
lie under., to love Ciod with all our hearts. 1 am the Lord, 
(this lays die first foundation, and leads the way, when from 
Mount Sinai the Almighty proclaims his law, but then he imme- 
diately goet. on to add,) thy God, xvhich brought thee out of the 
ImdofEgupt and out cftlw hou.-ic of bondage. ...Ks.od. xx. God 
has such a right to us, and such an authority over us, and hxs 


done so many things for us, and promised so many things to us, 
that our additional obligations to be the Lord's, to love him and 
live to him, are exceedingly great. Particularly, 

Nothing is more reasonable than that we should be entirely 
dedicated to that God, whose we are originally^ and by an entire, 
underived, and unalienable right : especially, considering what 
he is in himself, and that he is Lord of all things, and, by na- 
ture, God most high -. Indeed, if our Creator was not, by nature, 
the most high God, then he could not be the supreme Lord of 
all things ; for there would be one above him ; and so we should 
not be his, entirely and absolutely ; for he himself, and we his 
creatures, would belong, originally, to another... even to him that, 
by nature, would be the most high God ; and him we ought to 
love and worship. But our Creator himself, being absolutely 
the first, and absolutely supreme, self-existent, and independent, 
the sole author and Lord of all things, as well as infinitelv glo- 
rious in himself, his right to us is original, underived, and most 
absolute and entire : and therefore it is infinitely fit and suita- 
ble that we should be, in the constant frame and disposition of 
our hearts, absolutely, entirely, and wholly the Lord's, and that 
we should forever exert all our powers, to the very utmost, to 
promote his honor and interest. And it is infinitely unreason- 
able that we should ever set up ourselves, and be attached to 
any interest of our own, separate from his. And, inasmuch as 
he is infinitely better than we are, (yea, all the nations of the earth 
are less than nothing before him^ and has such an entire right 
unto us, his interest, therefore, should be regarded as more val- 
uable than our own.. ..yea, infinitely more : For if our own in- 
terest appears as valuable to us as his, we set ourselves upon a 
level with him, and claim as great a right to ourselves as he has ; 
and if his interest docs not appear as being of infinitely greater 
value to us than our own, we do not esteem him as being infi- 
nitely better than we are ourselves, and his right to us infinitely 
greater than our own right to ourselves is. It is, therefore, in- 
finitely reasonal)le, since God is what he is, and has such a right 
to us as he lias, that w'e should be constantly, from the verj' 


bottom of our hearts, wholly his, and even- moment li\c whully 
to him, and alwaj't have his interest lie most near our hearts, 
us being of infinitely more worth, value, and importance than 
our own : As Moses, who, in a measmc, was made partaker 
of this divine nature, in the anguish of his heart, cries, when God 
tells him he will cutoff Israel, and make of him a great nation, 
" Lord, let my name be blotted out ojthij book ; let it be forgot- 
" ten from among the living, and be never heard of again in 
" the world that ever I was in being : But xchat will become of 
" thtf great name?''^ — God's honor and interest were dear to him ; 
but he, comparatively, cared not for his own at all....Exo(L 
xxxii. — Num. xiv. 

But this our obligation to be entirely the Lord's, is still in- 
finitely increased, if we consider the mithority of the su- 
preme 6(/irr?/crofthe world, which, by his express Unu^ has en- 
joined this upon us. It is not only infinitely fit, in its own na- 
ture, that we should love God with all our hearts, considc-ring 
what he is in himself, and Uiat we should be entirely for him, 
in the temper of our minus, considering what an entire right he 
has to us as ius creatures, who have received all we ha\'c from 
him, and are absolutely dependant on him for all we want ; but 
God has, by Icau^ as Governor of the world, enjoined this upon 
us as our duty, and that with all his mithority : And now, con- 
sidering what he is in himself, and the natural right he has to 
all things, and how entirely we are his, and absolutely under his 
government, his authority is infinitely binding ; especially, 
considering how infinitely engaged he appears to be to see that 
his law be exactly obeyed, in promising eternal life on the one 
hand, and threatening eternal damnation on tlie other : 7 his 
his injinite engagedncss^ lays us under infinite bonds to be and 
do exactly what he requires. 

But still, our obligation to love him with all our hearts, and 
be wholly the Lord's, is yet infinitely more increased, if wc con- 
sider what ways the Lord has taken with us in this ape btate 
world, since our rebellion against him...^ince we have lost all ce- 
tecni for him, turned enemies to him, cast off his authority, and 


practically bid defiance to his power and justice ; for, instead 
of immediately dooming all this lower world to blackness of 
darkness forever, he has sent his Son, his only begotten Son, 
from heaven, to bring us the news of pardon and peace, and, by 
his own death, to open a w ay for our return unto him, and to 
call and invite us to return : And now, with a liberal hand, he 
strews common mercies all round the world, among evil, un- 
thankful, guilty, hcU-dcservingrebels, and filb the heartsof all with 
food and gladness ; and sends forth his messengers to proclaim 
it to tlie ends of the earth, that it is his will that all his rebellious 
creatures lay down their weapons of rebellion — acknowledge the 
law, by which they stand condemned, to be holy, just, and good, 
and look to him through Jesus Christ lor pardon as a free giit, 
and through Jesus Christ return unto him, and give up them- 
selves to him entirely, to love him and live to him, and delight 
in him forever. 

And while the world in general make light of all this, imd 
go to their farms, and to their merchandize, and many are cm-a- 
ged and crj' out against the messengers of peace, and stone some 
and kill others (^Mat. xxii.) — that noxv he should, of his own sov- 
ereign good pleasure, according to his eternal purpose, seize 
here and there one, by his all-conquering grace, and stop them 
in their career to hell, and make them see and feel their sin and 
guilt, and own the sentence just by which they stand condemn- 
ed, and bring them as upon their knees to look to free grace 
through Jesus Christ for a pardon, andthrough Jesus Christ te 
give up themselves forever to him — that 7/oit^ he sliould receive 
them to favor, and put them among his children, and become 
their father and their God, in an everlasting covenant, and un- 
dertake to teach and lead.. .to quicken and strengthen. cor- 
rect and comiort, and so to humble, and purifv, and sanctifv, 
and fit them for his heavenly kingdom ; and, while they are in 
this world, to give them all things that are best for them, and 
make all things work together for tiieir good, and finally bring 
them unto, and possess them of eternal glory and blessedness, 
in tlu- full cnjo) meat of himself forever ; — lor a Cod o{ infinite 


irreatness and glory to deal just so^ \\\^^^juit ntcli, is 
the most amazing and astonishino; prace ; aiul h\\ s injiniteboud.t 
upon believers to love the Loidibcir God with all their hearts, 
and toli\e to him forcvi^r, and has the greatest tendency to an- 
imate them r.o to do : And thus, hy these britt" hints, we have 
a general view oi the additional motives of a true and genuine 
love to (iod. 

As God's bringing up the children of Israel out ol" Egypt — 
leading them through the wilderness — tlriviiig out the heailicn 
from before them, and giving them that good land w hich flow- 
ed with milk and honey, and covenanting to be their Cod^ is used 
so frequently, by Moses and the Prophets, throughout all the 
Old Testament, as a motive to engage them to cleave to the 
Lord, and to him only and entirely, and forever ; so God's send- 
ing his Son into the world, to save his people from their sins, 
their spiritual bondage, together with all >ie spiritual and ever- 
lasting blessings of the covenant of grace, are continually used 
in the New Testament, as arguments to engrge believers not 
to live to themselves, but to him that died for diem. — Only 
here lot diese tiwng-s be remembered ; 

(1.) Thtt a sight and sense of the infinite greatness andghnj 
of God, fixJin whom all good comes, and a sense of their own in- 
finite meanness and unworthiness, makes all the mercies they 
receive, intinitelvthe more e2idcar in or and a2<ra^inq; : for the mer- 
cics themselves now appeal- unspeakably the greater, in that they 
come from S7ic/i a God, and to nuch creatures ; and the infinite 
goodness of God shines the brighter in every mercy, and theyrr^*- 
neas of his g race is the more conspicuous, on account of which he 
is infinitely amiable. The infinite greatness and glor}'of God, 
in general, ravishes the heart — the infinite moral beauty of the 
divine goodness and gi'aie, inparticidar, ravishes the heart ; and 
now, that such a God ahonld^hcw such /iindiusaesto such a crea- 
ture, is very affecting. Who am /, Lord God? And -what in 
vvf house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ? says holy David 
....And is this the 7nanncr of men, Lord God ? No surely.... 
Wherefore thou art great, Lord God : For there is none li^e 


thee^ neither is there any God besides thee.. ..11. Sam. vii. 18 — 22. 
God is loved for the kindnesses bestowed j but he is more loved 
for the infinite beauty of that goodness which is displayed in the 
bestowment of them, and for his being :)ltogether such a one as 
he is. So the ^leen of Sheha esteemed Solomon for the kind- 
nesses he shewed her, but primarily, and much more, for his own 
personal excellencies : And his personal excellencies made her 
esteem his favors to her of much greater worth. That z glorious 
and ever-blessed (^OD should treat sinners so, is infinitely endear- 
ing. Now these sensations, which a true believer has, and his 
love to God arising therefrom, must be vastly different from ev- 
er)' thing which natural men experience, who know not God, 
and ha\'e no higher principle in them than self-love. 

(2.) Let it also be remembered, that God designs^ by all hia 
dealings and kindnesses to his people, to bring them nearer to 
himself m this world, ^nd to the everlasting enjoyment of himself 
in the world to come. He means, for the present, to humble 
them, and wean them from the world.. make them more 
spiritually and bring them to be more 
acquainted with GoJ, and more entirely to take up their 
rest and contentment in him ; and, therefore, all things ai'C cal- 
culated, by his infinite wisdom and goodness, to attain this end. 
And this causes all the wise and kind dealings of God, outward- 
ly in his providence, and inwardly by his spirit, and that both by 
v/ay of correction, as well as by way of consolation, to appear 
in a very affecting and engaging light to true believers. While 
they see what God is in himself, and his infinite beauty in being 
such.. ..while they see how infinitely sufficient he is to be all 
things to them, and to do all things for them, and the blessedness 
of living wholly upon him, and trusting wholly in him. ...while 
they see God calculating all things to bring them to him, and 
actually find all things working this way, their obligations to love 
him and live to him appear infinitely binding, and their hearts 
arc mightily engaged and animated. Thit; \ iew of things makca 
all their afllictions appear as great mercies ; because they are so 
wisely calculated to bring them near to God : Faalm cxix. 71. 


This view of things adds an infinite value to all the kindnesses 
of Ciod, over and above what the\- are worth merely in them- 
selves, because tlie)- are all so wisely calculated to bring them 
near to God. This is the kernel of all that tender mercy and 
loving kindness which they see in all their afflictions, and in all 
tiieir comforts : Hcb. xii. 10, 1 1 — Horn. viii. 28. To be brought 
near to God, is worth more than all the world ;— there is no por- 
tion like God. comfort like that which is to be taken in him : 
He is the godly man's all. Psalm Ixxiii. 25,.,,]Vhom lutvc I 
in heaven but thee P And there is nothing on earth I desire besides 
thee. And now tliut such a God should take such methods^ with 
just siich a creature^ to bring him to the possession of such a 
good, is the most amazing goodness, and the most astonishing 
grace. Now here is a sense of the excellency of the divine na- 
ture \\\ general, and a sense of the moral beauty of the divine 
goodiKSS \u particular, and of the unspeakable mcrcij God shews 
to them, which mercy is infinitely magnified in their account, 
from the value they have for God, as the portion of their souls, 
from all which their love to God takes its rise ; whereby their 
love appears to be exceedingly dift'erent from any thing which na- 
tural men experience, who neither know God, nor relish com- 
munion wiili him, but are contraiy to him in all things ; and, on- 
l) from seli-love, are gUid of the good things they receive from 
God, which good tilings they live upon and make a God of — 
whether they be worldly good things, or great light, and com- 
fort, andjov of a religious nature. 

(3.) Let it also be remembered, that all God's gifts to his peo- 
ple are so many talents bestowed upon them, ultimately to be im- 
proved for God, whereby they are put under advantages to glo- 
rifl God and do good in the ruorld: And the more the)- have of 
worldly substance. ..of natural powers.. .of acquired accomplish- 
ments, and of the gracious influences of the holy spirit, SvC. the 
greater are their advantages to act for God, to promote his hon- 
or and interest, and to do good. Now, in proportion as they 
love God, in the same proportion is his honor and interest, and 
the good and welfare of his creatures and subjects, dear unto 



them. The interest and honor of God lie nearer to the hearts 
of his people, than their parents, or consorts, or children, or 
houses and lands — yea.^ than their own lives ; {Luke xiv. 26.) 
To be under advantages, therefore, to promote his honor and 
interest, must, in their account, be esteemed an inestimable priv- 
ilege. Hence, they love God for all things they receive from 
him, because by all they are put under such advantages to live 
to him and sene him, seeking his interest, and honor, and glo* 
ry ; a remarkable instance of which we have in Ezra, that hearty 
friend to God, and to his honor and interest.. ..See £zra \Vu 
27, 28, compared with the rest of the chapter. Now herein, 
again, their love to God for his benefits is evidently different 
from any thing which natural men experience, who have no 
higher principle than self-love, and are entirely actuated by it. 

And as the love of the saint and of the hypocrite thus greatly 
differ in their 7iature^ so do they also differ as gi'eatly in their 
fruits and ejects, Ezra loved God greatly for his kindnesses 
to him, because thereby he was put under advantages to do so 
much for God's gloiy, and for the good of his people. And now 
see how active he is foi- God, and how he exerts himself to do 
good, and to reform ever\' thing that was amiss among the Jews, 
from the (^glith chapter and on ; while the hvnocrilical Jews, 
^vho,no doubt, were also grcath- affected with the mercy of God, 
in their deliverance from their long captivity, were so far fi-om 
being active for God, that they, not caring for his honor or his 
laws, committed great abominations. ...iizra ix. 1. So \\\c chil- 
dren of Israel^ at the Red-Sea, seemed to be full of love to God, 
as well as Mones ,- but as they had different sorts of love, so their 
carriage did as greatly differ afterwards, for the course of forty 
years: and no wonder.... for the hypocritical /sr«f///f.v only loved 
themselves, and cared only for their own interest ; but Moses 
ioved God, and cared, above all things, for his honor. 

Thus we see, not only what additional obligations believers 
arc under to love (iod with all their hearts, but also how, and 
in what manner, they influence and excite them so to do : and 
Ivhat I have offered effectually oliviates the common plea of 


formalists and all 3elf«scckcr3, lyiat all the sa:nt9 in scripture' 
arc rcprcuiUeii an hvim^Cjod Jcjr Uix benejita ; wiicnrc tliey ar- 
gue, ihaithcy are right, ami their religion genuine, which results 
merely from self-IoNC, and die fear t)f hell, and hope of heaven, 
or from a coufiJcnt persuiision that their sins aic pardoned; 
For it is evident^ that true saints do not love God for \\\^ bene- 
fits, nor eye their own luippincss, in the same manner that such 
nien do ; but in a manner altogether difereni. Saints know the 
God they love, and love him, primarily, for what he is in him- 
self, and because he is just what he is : tkit h^■^x)criles know 
not Ciod, nor love liini ; but are, in all things, contrary to him, 
and are only pleased with the false image of God they have 
framed in their fancies, mcrel)- because llu'\- think that he loves 
ilicm, ai;d has clone, and will do, great diings for them. Saints 
are aifected with the divine goodness itself, Coi- the moral beaut)- 
there is in it ; but hypocrites are aftecte'd only widi the fruits 
and ciVects of divine goodness to them, as tending to make them 
happy. Saints love God for his benefus, under a real sense of 
their infinite unworthiness of the least of them ; but so it is not 
with hypocrites. Saints love God for all the streajus of di- 
vine goodness, because they are designed, and actuallv do lead 
them up to God, the tbuntain,who is the poruon oftlieir souls : 
But hypocrites live upon tlie streams, disrelishing the fountain. 
Saints love God, dearly, for all his gifts, because by them thc\- 
are put under such advantages to live to God, to promote his 
interest and honor, and to do good in the world ; but hypocrites 
are confmed within the narrow circle, self. The love of saints to 
God animates them to live to God, and to exert themselves to 
promote his honor and interest, and to do all the good t-iey can : 
but the hypocrite, after all his pretended love to God, cares not 
wliat becouK-s of his interest and honor, if it may but go well 
widi hun, his friends and party : So diat, while true saints love 
God for his benefits, they act, in a ^rrtaot^i manner, conforma- 
ble to the Law of Ciod, and to the rcitson and nature of things ; 
whereas, all the lo\e of the most refined hypocrite i.". mcrtlv 
the workings of a natural sell-love, in a manner directly contra- 


ry to the law of God, and to the reason and nature of things ; 
and is nothing but mere mocktiy. ...Psaltn Ixxviii. 34, 35, 36, 
o7 — Zech. vii. 5, 6. 

Thus we have gone through the two first general heads^ and 
see what is implied in love to God, and from what motives 7ve 
ought to love him : And, from the whole, we may learn so much 
of the nature of true religion, as that, with much evidence and 
certainty, we may conclude, 

FiRST^ That all that seeming love to God is counterfeit, which 
arises merely from meji's corruptions being gratified : As when 
ambitious men are, by God's providence, raised to high degrees 
of honor, and worldly men are prospered in all which they put 
their hands unto, and herefrom the one and the other rejoice 
and bless God, and seem to love him, and verily think they are 
sincere : This is all hypocrisy ; for, in truth, they only love 
their corruptions, and are glad they are gratified. And accor- 
dingly, instead of improving all their riches and honor for God, 
to advance his interest and honor in tlie world, they improve 
all only for themselves, to promote their own ends ; and care 
not what becomes of God's honor, and interest, and kingdom ; 
and commonly such men shew tliemselves the greatest enemies 
to the cause of God, and to the religion of Christ : and should 
God but touch olltheij have, they would curse him to his facet 

Secondly, We may be equally certain, that all that seeming 
love to God is counterfeit, that arises merely from a legal, self- 
righteous spirit : As when a man, only because he is afraid of 
hell, and has a mind to be saved, sets himself to repent, and re- 
form, and do duties, and tries to love God and nim at his glory, 
to the intent that he may make some amends for past sins and 
recommend himself to the divine favor, and so to escape hell 
and obtain heaven : And when he has grown so good, as to 
have raised hopes of attaining his end, he is ravished at the 
thoughts^ and rejoices, and blesses the Lord, and loves him. 
It is plain all this is hypocrisy : for the man, in truth, only loves 
himself, and is concerned merely for his own interest ; but does 
not care at all for God, his gloiy or honor i for, if there 


were no hcavtn nor hell, such wouUl scnc Cod no more. Chil- 
dren will work lor their parents, without bein;^ lured, because 
they love them : but hirelings will not strike a stroke if there is 
no money to be gotten ; because they care for nothing but their 
own interest : Hence this sort of Inpoc riles arc wont to say, 
that if they once believed tliat God had made no promises to 
the best they can do, they would never do more. And fanher, 
it is plainly all hypocrisy ; for, if their consciences but fall asleep, 
so that they are troubled no more with the thoughts of another 
world, they will leave off their duties, let down their watch, 
break all their resolutions, and be as bad as ever : and hence 
their doctrine of falling from grace probably took its rise. And 
their hvpocrisy is still more evident, in that thev are common- 
1)' so much concerned to find out what the least measure of sa- 
ving grace is, and so strenuous in pleading for great abatements 
in the law : for, from hence, it is plain, that ail they are after 
is only to get just grace enough to carry them to hea\-en ; as a 
lazy hireling, who is for doing but only just work enough to 
pass for a day's work, that he may get his wages at night, 
whicli is all he wants. 

Thirdly, We may be as certain, tliot all that senning Ijvc 
is counterfeit ^xvhich arises merely from a strong confidence which 
aman has^ that his sins are pardoned, and that Christ loves him, 
and will save him : As when a man is under great terrors, and 
has fearful apprehensions oi hell anddamnation,and is ready even 
to give himself up for lost : but suddenly great light breaks in- 
to his mind ; he sees Christ with his arms open and smiling, and it 
may be his blood nmning, and hears him, as it were, say. Be 
df good cheer, thy sins areforgiven thee.... I have loved thee roith 
an everlasting love.. ..Come, thou blessed of my Father, itdieril the 
kingdom ; — and now he is certain that his sins are pardoned, 
and that heaven is his, and he is even ravished with jov, and 
calls upon all to praise the Lord : For all this proceeds merelj' 
from self-love, and there is no love to Ciod in it : for all this 
love arises from his false confidence, and not from any true 
knowledge of God ; and commonly such turnout as the Israel- 


ites did, who scnig God''s praise at the Red-Sea, when Pharaoh 
and his hosts were drowned, and they deUvered, and their hopes 
of getting to Canaan highly raised / but they soonforgat his 
xvorks^ and rebelled against him, and their carcases fell in the 
wilderness. They loved themsthes^ and therefore they rejoi- 
ced at their wonderful deliverance ; they loved tlumsek es, 
and therefore they murmured three days after, when they came 
to the bitter waters : Their joys and their murmurings pro- 
ceeded from the very same principle, under different circum- 
stances ; but the love of God was not in them : and just this is 
the case here. And this is commonly the event, that, the fears 
of hell being now over, their joys gradually al^ate, and they 
grow more, and more secure, till, after a while, they return to 
folly, as the dog to his \'omit, and as the sow tliat was washed 
to her wallowing in the mire ; and so are as bad, and sometimes 
worse than ever.. ..(II. Pet. ii, 20, 21, 22.) And now they 
plead, that the best are dead sometimes, and that David and Pe- 
ter had their falls j and so keep their consciences as quiet as 
they can : and thus they live along whole months and years to- 

Fourthly, and lastly. We may also be certain, that all that 
seeming love to God^zvhich arises merdtj from the gratification of 
spiritual pride ^ is counterfeit : As when men dream dreams, see 
visions, and hear voices, and have impressions and revelations 
whereby they are set up in their own esteem, and in tlic opinion 
of others, for some of the most peculiar favorites of hea\'en, and 
very best men in all the world ; and hence they rejoice, and 
bless God and mightil)- love him : but, in truth, they ai"e only 
ravished with self-conceit, and feel blessedly to think themselves 
some of the best men in the world, and to think the\' shall short- 
ly sit at the right hand of Christ in heaven, among tlie apostles 
and martyrs, while their persecutors and haters will be burning 
in hell : but they neither know God nor love him ; and, for the 
most partjiy heretical doctrines, or wicked lives, or both, are a 
scandal to religion : These are so far from being truK' religious, 
that/Aei/ are the very tarca tvhich the devil sows.,.. Mat. xiii. 39. 


In each of tl\csc sorts of love tliere are these three defects or 
faults : — (1.) rhey havcno true /t/J07c7ff/^'-6'of God ; andso(2.) 
Uk'v oiily love themselves ; and (3.) their seeming love to God 
arises from a mistiikc. The ambitious and worldly man thinks 
himself very liapp)-, because he rises in honor and estate ; the 
legalist thinks that God loves him, and will save him for his 
duties ; the next firmly believes that his sins are pardoned ; and 
the last, that God looks upon him one of the best men in the 
world ; but all are wofuUy mistaken ; and when, at the day of 
judgment, tiicy come to see their mibtake, their lo\e to God will 
\ anish away, and they turn everlasting haters and blasphemers 
of the most High. And another defect in these and all 
other sorts of counterfeit love, is, that they none of them will 
ever make men truly obedient : for w hen men's seeming to love 
God is nothing but self-love in another shape, all their seeming 
obedience will, in reality, be nodding but self-seeking: They 
may pretend to be the servants of God, but will only mean, ul- 
timately, to serve themselves. 




I proceed now to the next thing proposed, which was, 
III. To show tt'/irt/ is that measure of love to God., xuhkh the 
law requires of all mankind, — And our blessed Savior cleai-s uj) 
this point in the most plain and familiar language : — Thouahalt 
love the Lord th>j God., with all thtj hearty and with all thy soul^ 
and with all thy mind ; and it is added, in JIark xii. 30, Jl'/th all 
thy strength ; i. e. in other words, we ought to love God in a 
measure exactlv proportionable to the largeness ofournatural 
powers and faculties ; which to do, is all that perfection which 
God e\ er required of any of his creatures.* 

* The law runs thus : Tbou sha/t love tie Lord thy God %vitb all thy 
ber.rt, &c. nndtbv veigLix.r as thvself. God is to have the bigbest decree o( 
lo\ e we are capable of ; but a miicb /ess degree is due tu ourselves and neigh- 
bors : So th:it, according to the tenor of the law, our love to God is to he 
greater and viore Jet^'tnt, than our love to ourselves. And therefore tlie 
law docs suppose that God is worthy of our supiemc love for what he is 


\Vlien the law requires us to love God xv'ilh all our hearts^ it 
either means, to the utmost extent of our natural capacity, or 
else only to the utmost extent of our moral capacity ; /, e. only 
so much as we are inclined to : And then the less we are incli- 
ned to love God, the less love is required ; and so, if we have 
no heart, no inclination to love him, then no love at all is requi- 
red : And, according to this rule, the carnal mind, which is 
enmity against God, is not in dittij bound Xo be subject to the 
law, neither indeed can be : And where there is no law, there is 
no transgression ; — where there is no duty required, there can 
be no sin committed : and so the vilest of mortals are the freest 
from sin, and the least to blame ; which is the grossest absurdity. 
When, therefore, the law requires us to love God with all our 
hearts^ it has no reference to our moral inclination^ but only to 
our natural capacittj : And indeed nothing can be more unrea- 
sonable, than to suppose that the law only requires us to love 
God so far as wc have a heart and disposition to do so ; for 
this would leave us entirely at liberty to do otherwise, if we 
were so inclined, and, in effect, it would make the law say. If 
you feci inclined to love Gody jnore or less^ so far it is your duty, 
but farther you arc not bound, but arc at your liberty ; i. e. the 
law is not binding, any farther than you are inclined to obey it ; 
/, e. in reality it is no law, but every man is left to do as he plea- 
ses : The whole heart, therefore, does the law mean to require, 
let our temper, inclination, or disposition be what it will. 

(iod, the great author of all things, has been pleased to create 
intelligent beings of different sizes, some of a higher rank, and 
some of a lowers-some of greater capacities, and some of less,... 

in himself, antecedent to any selfish consideration, from a sight and sense 
of which nuort/.'iiiess oiir love to God is priuiavily to take its rise : For, in 
the nature of things, it would he im])ossil)ie for us, from self-love, to love 
God more than ourselves. ...Or thus, the law re(iuircs us to love Godninre 
than ourselves ; hut, in the nature of tilings, it is impossible that mertlj 
<"rom stlf-iove wc should love God more tlian our.selves : therefore the la\» 
iiupi)0ses that there is something in God to excite our love, fintecedcnt t<» 
anv hellish <:onsidcration, and that our love to him is not to proceed mere- 
ly from .self-love: For, otherwise, the law rcipiires us to do that which in 
its own nature is absolutely iitipossible.... And thi.->, by thjc way, may swvc 
Btill farther to confirm the truth of what has l)cen before said. 


some arc angels, and some urc men ; aii.l among ihc angel i 
some arc ol larger nalui al powers, and some olsmaller. So it 
is among the good angels, and so ii is an^ong il»c c\ il angels : 
There are angels anil areh-angels, i. e. beings ol varioub natu- 
ral powers and capacities, among the good and bad : And so 
il is among men — among good and bad, U^erc is a very great 
varietN— -some have larger souls than others. 

Intelligent beings are capable of a dti^rtc of knowledge and 
love, exiictly proportionable to their juiturul powers. Angels 
arc capable of a degree of knowledge and love, greater than men, 
and one man of a greater degree than another. As they are of 
different sizes. ...of larger and smaller natural powers, so their 
capacities to know and lo\ c are some gieater, and some less : 
So it is among good and bad. 

All that pcrftrtion which God requires of anv of his creatures, 
is a measure of knowledge and lo\ e bearing an exact proportion 
to their natural abilities. Since God has mimitcsted what he 
is, in his works and ways, and since he is infinitely glorious in 
being what he is, and has an original and entire right to his in- 
telligent creatures ; therefore he requires all angels and men to 
attend diligently to the discoveries which he has made of himself, 
and learn w hat he is, and behold his gloiv, and love him with all 
their hearts : 'i'his is the extent of what God requires of the 
highest imgel in heaven, and this Is exactly what he requires of 
all the children of men upon earth. 

The law requires no more than this of mankind, under a no- 
tion that their natunil powers are lessened by the fall, ^^'helil^r 
we are beings of as large natural powers as we should have been, 
had we never apostatized from God, or no, yet this is plain, we 
are no where in scripture blamed for having no larger natural 
powers, nor is any more ever required thm\ all l/ie/irart^ imd all 
the soiily and all the mind^ and all the strength : This is e\ idem 
through the whole Bible. 

And the law requires /jo /fwof mankind, undera notion that they 
are turned enemies to God, and have no heart or inclination to 
love him. Be itso, thatmankind are ever so averse to attend to 



those manifestations which God has made of himself, and ever s* 
averse to take in right notions of God, and eversofarfrom adispo- 
sition to account him infinitely glorious in being what heis,and 
from an inclination to love him with allthcir hearts; yet the divine 
law makes no allowances.. abatements; but insists upon the 
same. .the very same it ever did : — Thou shall love the Lord thy 
God xvlth all thy heart. 

Indeed, some do dream that the law is very much abated : 
But what saiih the scriptures as to this point ? Does the word 
of God teach us that there is any abatement made ? Where do 
we read it ? Where is it plainly asserted, or in what texts is it 
implied ? Truly, I know nothing like it in all the Bible, nor what 
text of scripture this notion can be built upon : and besides, if 
the law is abated, xvhen was is abated ? Was it abated immedi- 
ately upon Adam's fall? Surely no ; for, above two thousand 
years after, from Mount Sinai, God declared that he required 
sinless perfection, and threatened a curse against the man that 
should fail in the least point.... £a,W. xx. — Dent, xxvii. 26. — 
Was it abated upon Christ's coming into the world? Surely no ; 
for he, in the strongest terms, taught his disciples that it was in 
full force, and that it was their duty to be perfectly holy, and 
that in designed opposition to the doctrine of the Pharisees, 
who, in effect, held that the law was abated.. ..ili«^ v. 17 — 4-8. 
Was it abated after Christ's death and resurrection? Surely 
no; for St. Paul always taught that the Christian scheme of reli- 
gion, vvhich he preached, did not make void, but rather estab- 
lished the \A\f....Ro7n. iii. 31 — and St. James insisted upon it, 
tliat it must not bt- broken in anv one point.... yawr*- ii. 10. — 
When was it abated therefore ? Why, says Christ, Till heaven 
and earth sludl pass uxvay^ one jot or tittle of the hau shall in no 
ruise fail.... yidt.v. IS. And besides, if the law is abated, m 
7vhat particular is it abated, and horv great arc the abatements ? 
— Are there any abatements made in our dutv to God ? Surely 
no'; for we are still required to love him with all our hearts, 
and more than this never was demanded : Or are any abate- 
ments made in our dut) to our fellow-men ? Surely no ; for we 


afc still required to love our neijjhlxir as ourselves, and moi o 
than this never was enjoined : Or is there anv ahntcmcnt m.ule 
in ti\c internal puit of our duty ? Surely no ; for the wliolc heart 
is still required, and more tlian this never was iiisisicd upon : 
Or, finally, is there any abatement made in the external part of 
our duty ? Surely no ; for we are still required to htiko'ij in all 
nuintwr of conversation^ as he that has called tis is holy^ (I. Pet. 
i. 15.) and more than this was never required ; So that, from 
the whole, we have as much reason to think that the law requiivs 
sinless perlection now, as that ever it did : yea, this point can- 
not be plainer than it is ; for the law, in fact, is the vcrv same 
it was from the be^nning, word for word, without the leat alte- 
ration : — Thou shult love the Lord thy God ivith all thij heart, 
he. and thy neighbor as thyself; so that, if it ever did require 
einless perfection, it does 7ic/xv. 

The highest pitch of holiness, the saints in henvrn will ever 
arrive to, will only be to love God with all their hearts ; and e\- 
acdy the very same is required of even- man upon earth : .Vnd 
it was because St. Paul understood the law in this sense, that 
he had always such a mean and low opinion of all his attain- 
ments ; for, while he compared what he 7vas^ with what he 
ought to be, he plainly saw how the case stood : and therefore 
he says, The lurv is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.... 
wretched man that I am /...Rom. vii. 14, 24. 

So that, upon the whole, this seems to be the true state of the 
case : — as there are various capacities among all intelligent crea- 
tures in general, so there are among men, in particular, souls of 
various sizes.. ..son^e ot larger natural cap:tciiies, and some of 
smaller ; but souls of different capacities, are capable of different 
degrees of love. A degree of love exactly equal to the natuiiJ 
capacity of the soul, is perfection : and this is what the law re- 
quires, nor more nor less; — f/// the heart, (///the soul,rt//the mind, 
«// the strength. The saints and angels in heaven love Ciod 
thus, and hence they are perfect in holiness j and, so lar as ive 
fall short of tliis, we are sinful : This is the exact rule of dut\-. 
And now, this law ik h'jhj,jiist,-jca<\ good. The thing required 


quired, is, in its own nature, right, fit, and suitable. God is 
worthy to be loved -with all our hearts, and this is just what is 
required. It is right we should have a degree of love to our- 
selves, and it is right we should love our neighbors as ourselves ; 
but it is fit we should love God with all our hearts : Consider- 
ing what he is, and what we are, it is, in its own nature, infinite- 
ly fit and right ; and not to do so, infinitely unfit and wrong. 
Indeed, God is worthy of an infinitely greater degree of love 
than we, or any of his creatures, are capable of. He onlv is 
capable of a complete view of his own infinite glorj', and of a full 
sense of his own infinite beauty, and of a love perfectly adequate 
to his own loveliness : and he does not require or expect any 
of his creatures to love him to that degree he loves himself ; 
only, as he loves himself with all his heart,«so he requires and 
expects that they love him with all their hearts : And there be- 
ing the same reason for one as for the other, the law is, there- 
fore, in its own nature, perfectly right ^ -and just ^ and equal. In- 
deed, had God required the most exalted of his intelligent crea- 
tures to have loved him in the same degree that he himself does, 
then the thing required would, in its own nature, have been ab- 
solutely impossible, and what he could have no reason to expect : 
Or, if he had required the meanest of his intelligent creatures to 
havelovedhimin the same6'(?^rt^ethat Gabriel does, it would have 
been a thing naturally impossible; but now he only requires 
every one to love him with all their hearts^ this is r/^/i/... .perfect- 
ly right, just^ and equal. Less than this could not, in justice, 
have been required of each one ; injustice, I mean, to the Deity, 
who ought to have his due from each one, and whose proper 
right the Ciovernor of the world ought to assert and maintain. 

Thus we see the law is exactly upon a le\el with our ruitural 
capacities ; it only requires us to love Ciod with all our hearts : 
and thus we see, that the law is, therefore, perfectly reasonable, 
just, and equal. Deut. x. \2....Anfl non\ f.srael^iuhat doth the 
Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to 
ivalk in all his nv/yv, and to loxie him, and to serzw t/w Lord thy 
Godivith Ai.f, tin/ hear/, and rvlfh am, tin/ soul P 


Hence, as to a natural cap;»city, all mankind are capable of 
a ptriVct conftjrmity to this law ; for the law requires of no man 
anv more than to love Ciocl with all hi.',- heart. The sinninj:^ 
angels have the same natural capacities now, as they had before 
thcv fell ; they have the samey?/n////>v, calUd the i/nz/rrvYa;/^//;^')' 
and ii'':ll — they are still the samcbeings, as to their nw/r/rr// pow- 
ers. Once thev loved (iod v:\\k\ all their hear tn ; andno\\ il;cy 
hate him with all their hearts : Once they had a gi-eat deijrce 
of love ; now diey ha\c as great a degree of hatred ; — so that 
they have the same natural capacities now as ever. Their 
temper^ indeed, is different ; but their capacittj is the same ; and, 
therefore^ as to a natural capacitif^ they are as capable of a per- 
fect conformity to the law of their Creator as ever thev were. 
So, Adam, after his fall, had the same soul tluit he had before, 
as to its natural capacities^ though of a vcr)- different teiuper ; 
and, therefore, in that respect, was as capable of a perfect con- 
formityto this law, as ever. And it is plainly the case, that all 
mankind, as to their natural capacities, are cff/;a^/e of a perfect 
conformity to the law, from this., that when sinners are convert- 
ed they have no new natural faculties, though the}- have a ne^v 
temper : and when they come to lo\e God with all their hearts 
in heaven, still they will have the same hearts^ as to their ;;«^?/- 
rfl/ faculties, and may, in this respect, be justly looked upon as 
the \try same beings. In this sense, Paul was the same man 
V hen he hated and persecuted Christ, as when he loved him and 
died for him : and that same heart \.\vaX. was once so full of mal- 
ice, is now as full of love : So that, as to his nr7///r«/ capacities, 
he was as capable ot a perfect conformity to this law, when he 
was a persecutor, as he is now in heaven. When, thcrefon*, 
men crv out against the hol\- law of Cfod, whiih requires us oiily 
to love him with all our hearts^ and say, " It is noijust for (iod 
*' to require more than we can do, and then threaten to damn 
" us for not doing," they ought to sia\- a while, and consider 
what they say, and tell what they mean by their can no ; for 
it is plain, ih;it the law is exactly upon a level with our natural 
capacities, and that, iu tliis respect, we xivc fully capable of a per- 


feet conformity thereto : And it will be impossible for us to 
excuse ourselves by an iiiability arising from a7iy other quaiter ; 
as will presently appear : For, to return, 

From what has been said, we may learn, that there can be 
nothing to render it, in any measure, a hard and diffciilt thing, 
to love God with all our hearts, but our being destitute of a 
right temper of mind, and having a temper that is wrong : and 
that, therefore, we are perfectly inexcusable, and altogether and 
wholly to blame, that we do not. 

Ob J. But I do not know God ; how, therefore, can I love him ? 

Ans. Were you of a right temper, it would be your nature, 
above all things, to attend to those discoveries which he has 
made of himself in his works and in his word ; you would search 
for the knowledge of him, as men search for silver, and as they 
dig for hidden treasure : and, were you of a right temper, it 
would be natural to take in that veiy representation which God 
has made of himself: And now, was it but your nature to at- 
tend, with all your heart, to the discoveries which God has made 
of himself.. .and your nature to take in right notions of him, it 
would be impossible but that you should know xi-hat God is ; be- 
cause he has acted out iUl his perfections so much to the life, and 
exhibited such an exact image of himself. The works of crea- 
tion and redemption, and all his conduct as moral Governor of 
the world, shewjust what kind of Being he is : He has discov- 
ered his infinite understanding and almighty power, and he has 
shown the temper of his heart ; and all in so plain a manner, 
that, were it your nature to attend and consider, and take in 
right notions, it is quite impossible but that you should know 
and see plainly what God is. 

Obj. But if J have right notions of what God is, yet I caJinot 
see his glory and beauty in being such ; how, therefore, can I love 
him ? 

Ans. Were you of a right temper, it would be your nature to 
account him infinitely glorious in being what he is. As it is the 
nature of an ambitious man to see a glory in applause, and of 
a worldly roan to see a glory in the things of tlie world, so it 


would be your nature to see a glory inCiod ; for what suits our 
hcartb,naturall\ appc:u-s excellent in oureyts. {Jolin viii. 42,4-7.) 

Ouj. But IJ'itl tliat Icawiot love him ; hoxi\ therefore^ am I 
wholly to blame ? 

Ans. The fault is in him, or in you : Either he is not love- 
Iv, or else you are of a very bad temper : but he is infinitely 
lovely ; and therefore it is only owing to Uie bad temper of your 
heart, and to your being destitute of a right temper, that \ou 
cannot love him ; and you, therefore, are wholly to blame : In- 
deed vou could not but love him, were you not a very sordid 

Obj. But to love God^ or to have any dlspo.sUon to love himjs 
a thing supernatural, cletm beyond thepoivers of nature,, im- 
proved to the utmost : hanv can /, therefore^ be ivholhj to blame ? 

Ans. It is a thing supernatural you say ; /. e. in other words, 
you have no heart to it^ nor the least inclination that way ; nor 
is there any thing in your temper to work upon by moii\es to 
bring von to it ; and now, because you are so very bad a crea- 
ture, therefore ) ou are not at all to blame : I'his is your argu- 
ment : But can you think that there is any force in it ? What ! 
aie moral agents the less to bUime the worse they grow ? And 
are God's laws no longer binding, than while his subjects are 
disposed to obey them ? 

Obj. But, ^'ft<^f "^A -^"^"-s^ needs reply, as Nicodemus in 
another case^ How can these things be ? 

Ans. Why did not the Jews love their prophets, and love 
Christ and his apotles r What was it owing to ? And where did 
the blame lie ? They were acquainted with them. ...heard ihi in 
talk and preach, and saw their conduct, and could notbutplain- 
Iv perceive their temper, and know what sort of disposition they 
were of, and what sort of men the}' were ; and jet they did not 
like them ; but they hated them — they belied them, slandered 
and reproached them, and put them to death : And now what 
was the matter ? What was the cause of all this ? Were not 
their prophets, and Christ and his apostles indeed lovely, and 
worthy of their hearty esteem ? Did not all that they said and did 


manifest thtni to be so ? Why, tlieii, did they not love them ? 
— Was it not wholly owing to tlieir not having a right temper 
of mind, and to their hclng of so bad a disposition ? And were 
they not wholl\' to blame ? — I'hey might say of Chinst, That 
they could see no form nor comeliness in him^ wherefore they 
nhuld desire him ; and where no beauty is seen, it is impossible 
there should be any love : But why did not he appear most 
amiable in their eyes ? And why were their hearts not ravish- 
ed with his beauty ? — His disciples loved him, and Martha and 
Mary and Lazarus lo\ ed i\im ; and why did not the Scribes and 
Pharisees love him as much ? — Why, because his person and 
doctrines did not suit them, and were not agreeable to the tem- 
per of their hearts. The bad temper of their hearts made him 
appear odious in their eyes, and was the cause of all their ill- 
will towards him : And now, were they not to blame for this 
bad temper, and for all their bad feelings, and bad carriage to- 
wards Christ, thence arising ? Yes, surely, if ever any men were 
to blame for any thing. And now, if God, the father, had been 
in the same circiunsfanccs as God, the son, was then in, he 
would not have been loved a jot more, or treated a whit better 
than he was : Indeed it was that image and resemblance of the 
infinitely glorious and blessed God, which was to be seen in 
their prophets — in Christ and his apostles, which w^as the veiy 
thing they hated him for : Therefore Christ says, He that ha- 
ttth ?«e, hateth my Father also. ...But now have they both seen and 
hated^ both me and my Father. ...John xv. 23, 24. And Christ 
. attributes it entirely to their want of a right temper, and to the 
bad disposition of their hearts, that they did not love him, and 
Jove his doctrines. If God were your father^ you would love me.,.. 
John vVii. 42. lie that is of God (of a God-like temper) hear- 
eth God's words : ye^ therefore^ hear them not^ because ije are not 
of God, (Ver. 47.) In truth, the bottom of all your enmity is, 
that you are of your father, the devil, i. e. of just such a temper 
as he, (Tf / . 44.) And now, what think you, when Christ comes 
in flaming fire, to take vengeance on an ungodly world ? Will he 
blame the Scribes and Pharitees for not loving hira with uUlhcii 


heart«, or no ? Or will he excuse the matter, and say, on thrir 
bchulf, They couUI see no form nor omeliness in me., ..I appear- 
ed very odious to t/u)n....they could not love me....thn^ could not 
but hater.iey and no man is to blame for not doiyig more than lie 
CAN ? 

From the whole, it is plain that mankind are to hlamr, whol- 
ly to blame, and pertcitly inexcusable, lor their not having right 
apprehensions of God, and for their not having a sense of his 
glon.- in being what he is, and for their not loving him with all 
their heart ; because all is owing merely to their want of a right 
temper, and to the bad disposition of their hearts. 

Indeed, if we were altogether of such a temper, frame, and 
disposition of heart as we ought to be, it would be altogether 
as easy and natural to love God with all our hearts, as it is for 
the most dutiful child to love a tender and valuable parent : For 
God is really infinitely amiable ; and were we of such a temper, 
he would appear so in our eyes ; and did he appear so in our 
eyes, we could not but love him with all our hearts, and delight 
in hira with all our souls ; and it would be most easy andnatu- 
ral so to do ; for no man ever found any difficultv in loving that 
which appears very amiable in his eyes : For the proof of which 
I appeal to the experience of all mankind. And now, why does 
not God appear infinitely amiable in our eyes ? Is it because 
he has not clearly revealed luhat he is, in his works and in his 
word ? Surely no ; for the revelation is plain enough. Is it 
because he is not infinitely amiable in being what he is r Surely 
no ; for all heaven are ravished with his infinite beauty. What 
is it, then, that makes us blind to die infinite excellency of the 
divine nature ? Why, it can be owing to nothing but a bad tem^ 
per of mind in us, and to our not being of such a temper as 
we ought to be. For I appeal to the experience of all mankind, 
whether those persons and things which suit the temper of iheir 
hearts, do not naturally appear amiable in their eyes : And 
certainly, if God does not su\t the temper of our hearts, it is 
not owing to any fault in him, but the fault must be wholly in 
ourselves. If the temper and disposition of God (i. e, his mor- 



al perfections,) be not agreeable to our temper and disposition, 
most certainly our temper and disposition are very wrong. If 
Godxverc your father^ ye xvould love me ; but ye are of your 
father the devily therefore ye hate rat. ...{John viii. 42,44.) i. e. 
" If you were of a temper like God, ye would love me ; but be- 
ing of a contrary temper, hence you hate me. If you were of 
a right temper, I should appear amiable unto you ; and it is 
wholly owing to your bad temper, that I "appear otherwise. If 
ye were Abnihain^s children^ ye xvould do the xvorksof Abraham,'' 
....(verse 39.) 

Obj. But be it so^ yet I cannot help being of such a temper as 
I am of ; hoxv, therefore^ am Ixvhollyto blame 7 

Ans. You have as much power to help being of such a tem- 
per, as the scribes and Pharisees had ; but Christ judged them 
to be wholly to blame, and altogether inexcusable. They could 
not like Christ or his doctrine : Te cannot hear my xuord^ says 
Christ, (verse 42) ; but their cannot. ...their inability^ was no 
excuse to them in Christ's account, because all their inability, 
he plainly saw, arose from their bad temper, and their want of 
a good disposition. And, although they had no more poxver 
to help being of such a temper than you have, yet he judged 
them wholly to blame, and altogether Inexcusable, (jfo/m viii. 
33 — 4T..„fohn xv. 22 — 25.) And now we know, that his judg- 
ment is according to truth. But, in order to iiclp you to see in- 
to the reason of the thing, I desire you seriousl}- and impartial- 
ly to consider, 

1. That sinners are free arui voluntary in their bad temper. 
A wicked world have discovered a very strong disposition to 
hate God, even from the beginning : And the Jewish nation, 
God's own peculiar people, of whom, if of any, we miglit hope 
for better things, were so averse to God and his ways, that they 
hated and murdered tlie messengers wliich he sent to reclaim 
them, and, at last, even murdered God's own Son. And now, 
whence was all this ? Whj', from the exceeding bad and wick- 
ed temper of their hearts. They have hated me xvithout a cause 
....John XV. 25. But did any body force them to be of such a 


bud temper ? Surely no ; tlicy were heartt/ in it. Were they 
of such a bad temper against thtlr wills ? Surely no; ihcir 
itv//y.... their hsarts were in it : Yea, they loved their bad tem- 
per, and /oi;r</ to ^r(////y it, and hence were migluilv pleased 
wiUi their false prophets, because they always prophesied in 
their favor, ;uid suited and gratified their disposition : and 
they hated whatsoever w^s disagreeable to their bad temper, and 
tended to cross it ; and hence were they so enraged at the 
preaching and the persons ol" their prophets....of Christ and his 
aposdes ; so that they were manifestly voluntary and heartif in 
their bad temper. IFe have loved strangers, and after them xve 
■wiLL^3....Jer. ii. 25. lint as for the word which thou hast 
spoke?! unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken 
unto thee....]er. xliv. 16. And the Lord God of their fathers 
sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and scjiding ; 
because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling- 
place : but theij mocked the messengers of God, and despised his 
xuords,and mistised his prophets, &C....II. Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. 
And so, all wicked men are as voluntary in their bad temper 
as they were. The temper of the mind is nothing but the ha- 
bitual inclination of the heart : but an involuntary inclination of 
the heart is a contradiction ; And the stronger any inclination 
is, the more full and free the heart and soul is m the th'uig. 
Hence the bad temper, or the habitual bad inclination of the de- 
vil is at the farthest distance from any compulsion — he is most 
perfectly free and heart)- in it : And itll sinful creatures being 
thus voluntary, free, and hearty in the bad temper of their 
minds ; or, in other words, the bad temper of the mind being 
nothing but the habitual inclination of the heart, hence all must 
be to blame in a degixe equal to the strength of their bad incli- 
nation. In a word, if we were continuitllyyircWto be of such 
a bad temper, entirely against our wills, then we should not be 
to blame ; for it would not be at all the teinper of our hearts : 
but so long as our bad temper is noUiing else Ixit the hal^ituiJ 
frvnr,disposi\ion, and inclination of our own hearts, without 
any mannv^r of compulsion, we arc perfectly without excuse, 


and that whether we can help being of such a temper, or no. 

2. If a sinful creature's not being able to help his being of a 
bad temper^ does in the leant free him from blame ; then the more 
vile and sinful amj creature grows^ the less to blame will he be : 
because the more vile and sinful any creature grows, the less 
able is he to help his being of so bad a frame of heart : Thus, 
if a man feels a bad spirit towards one of his neighbors creep- 
ing into his heart, perhaps if he immediately resists it, he may 
be able easily to overcome and suppress it ; but if he gives way 
to it, and suffers it to take strong hold of his heart.. ..if he cher- 
ishes it until it grows up into a settled enmity, and keeps it in 
his heart for twenty years, seeking all opportunities to gratify it 
by backbiting, defaming, hct it will now, perhaps, be clean out 
of his power to get rid of it, and effectually root it out of his 
heart : It will, at least, be a ver\' difficult thing. Now, the man 
is talked to and blamed for backbiting and defaming his neigh- 
bor, time after time, and is urged to love his neighbor as him- 
self, but he says he cannot love Itim : Butwhv cannot you? For 
other men love him. IVhy^ he appears in my eyes the most odious 
and hateful man in the world. Yes, but that is owing to your 
own bad temper : Well^ but I cannot help my temper^ and there- 
fore I am not to blame. Now, it is plain, in this case, how weak 
the man's plea is ; and even common sense will teach all man- 
kind to judge him the more vile and blame-worthy, by how 
much the more his grudge is settled and rooted : And yet the 
more settled and rooted it is, the more unable is he to get rid of 
it. And just so it is here : Suppose a creature loved God with 
all his heart, but after a while begins to feel his love abate, and 
an aversion to (iod secretly creeping into his soul ; now, per- 
haps, he might easily suppress and overcome it : But if he gives 
Nvay to it, until he loses all sense of God's glory, and settles into 
a state of enmit)' against him, it may be quite impossil)le ever 
to recover himself : And yet he is not the less, but the more 
vile, and so the more blame-Avorthy. If, then, we are so averse 
to God that v,c cannot love him ; and if our bad temper is so 


Strong, so settled and rooted iliut wc cannot get rid of it, this is 
Kofar Iroin being matter ot excuse lor us, that it renders us so 
mucli the more vile, guilty, and hell-deserving ; for to suppose 
that our inability, in this case, extenuates our fault. ...our inabili- 
ty which increases in proportion to our badness, is to suppose 
that the worse any sinner grows, the less to blame he is ; — than 
which, noihing can be more absurd. 

Obj. But I was brouglit into this state bi/ J[ihinCsfall. 

Ans. Let it be by Adam's fall, or how it will, yet if you are 
an enemy to the infinitely glorious God, your Maker, imd that 
voluntarily, you are infinitely to blame, and without excuse ; 
for nothing can make it right for a creature to be a voluntary 
enemy to his glorious Creator, or possibly excuse such a crime : 
It is, in its own nature, infinitely wrong — there is nothing, there- 
fore, to be said — you stand guilty before God : It is in vain to 
make this or any other pleas, so long as we arc what we are, not 
by compulsion, but voluntarily : And it is in vain to pretend 
that we are not voluntary in our contiptions, when they arc 
nothing else but the free, spontaneous inclinations of our own 
hearts. Since this is the case, evcnj mouth will be stoppal^and 
all the xvorU become guilty before God^ sooner or later. 

Thus we see, that, as to a imtural copdcif'j, all mankind are 
capable of a perfect conformity to God's law, which requires us 
only to love God widi all our hearts : and that all our inability 
arises merely from the bad temper of our hearts, and our want 
of a good disposition ; and that, therefore, we are wholly to 
blame and altogether inexcusable. Our impotency, in one 
word, is not natural^ but moral, and, therefore, instead oi exten- 
uating^ does magnifij and enhance our fault. The more unable 
to love God wc are, the more arc xve to blame : Even as it was 
with the Jews. ...the greater contrariety there was in their hearts, 
to their prophets. Christ and hisaposdes, the more vile and 
blame-worlhy were they.* And in this light do the scriptures 

• Obj. But, says a secure sintr^r, surely there is no contraiiety in v\y heart 
to GoJ, I never tatei God in my lijc ; I alixciys lovc.i him. 

Ans. The Scrilies and J^buri.jees verily thought that they lovtd God, and 
'hat, it' they had lived in the days of their iaihers, they would not have put 


constantly view the case. There is not one tittle in the Old 
Testament or in the New....inthela\vorinthe gospel, that gives 
the least intimation of any deficiency in our natural faculties. — 
The law requires no more than all our hearts, and never blames 
us for not having larger natural capacities. The gospel aims 
to recover us to love God only with all our hearts, but makes 
no provision for our having any new natural capacity ; — as to 
Our natural capacities, all is well : It is in our temper, in the 
frame and disposition of our hearts, that the seat of all our sin- 
fulness lies. Ezek. xii. 2 Son ofman^ thou dwellest in the 

midst of a rebellious house^ which have ryes to see^ and see not.... 
they have ears to hear^ and hear not, for they urea rebellious 
house. This is the bottom of the business : We have eyes to 
sec, and ears to hear, and his glory shines all around us, in the 
heavens and in the earth. his word and in his ways ; and his 
name is proclaimed in our ears ; and there is nothing hinders 
our seeing and hearing, but that we arc rebellious creatures. — 
Our contrariety to God makes us blind to the beauty of the di- 
vine nature, and deaf to all his commands, counsels, calls, and 
invitations. We might know (jod, if we had a heart to know 
him ; and love God, if we had a heart to love him. It is noth- 
ing but our bad temper and being destitute of a right disposition 
that makes us spiritually blind and spiritually dead. If this 
heart of sf one was but away, and a heart oifcsh was but in us, all 

the PropheU to death. They were altogether insensil)le oi the perfect con- 
trariety ot" their hearts to the divine nature. And whence was it ! AVhy, 
they had wrong notions of the divine Being, and lliey loved tliai false image 
which ihey had framed in their own fancies ; and so they had wrong no- 
tions of the Projjhets which tlieir fathers hated and murdered, and hence 
itnagined iliat they should have loved ihem : But tliey saw a lifJe what a 
temper and disposition Clirist was of, hini they hated with a perfect 
hatred. So there are multitudes of secure sinners and self-deceived hyi)o- 
critcs, who verily think they love God i iievertlieless, as soon as ever they 
open their eyes in eternity, and see just what God is, their l(>ve \\ ill vanish, 
and their enmity break out and exeri itself to perfection. So that the rea- 
»on sinners .see nui their contrariety to the divine nature, is their not seeing 
what God is. ...It must be so; for a sinful nauire and an holy nature are 
diametrically oj>posite. So much as there is of a sinful disjjosition in the 
heart, so much of contrariety is there to the divine natme. If, therefon', 
we are not sensihle of this contrariety, it can he owing to nothing but 
our ignorance of God, or not believing him lobe what lie real!'. \^...l\iin. 

vii. b,y. 


would be well : Wc should be able enough to see, and hear,and 
undcrsUind, and know divine things ; and sliould l>c ravished 
with their bcautv ; and it would be most natural and easy to 
love Ciod with all our hearts. 

And hence, it is most evident that the supreme Governf)r of 
the world has not the least ground or reason to abate his law, 
or to reverse the threatening ; nor have a reljellious world tlie 
least ground or reason to charge God v/ith trutliy, and sa\', '•' It 
is not just that he should require more than ive can do^ and 
threaten to damn us for not doing ;" for, from what has been 
said, it is manifest that the Unu is hohj^ just ^and good : And that 
there is nothing in the way of our perfect conformity to it, but 
our own wickedness, in which we are free, and hearty, and vol- 
untary ; and for which, therefore, in strict justice, we deser\e 
eternal damnation. The law is already exactly upon a level with 
our natural capacities, and it need not, therefore, be brought any 
lower : And there is no greater punishment threatened than our 
sin deserves ; there is, therefore, no reason the threatening 
should be reversed ; — as to the law, all is well, and there is no 
need of any alteration : And there is nothing amiss, but in our- 
selves. It is impudent wickedness, therefore, to flr in the face 
of God and of his holy law, and charge him with injustice and 
cruelty ; because, forsooth, we hate him so bad that we cannot 
fuid it in our hearts to love him ; and are so high-hearted and 
stout that we must not be blamed. No, we are too good to be 
blamed in the case, and all the blame, therefore, must be cast 
upon (iod and his holy law : Yea, wc are come to that, in this 
rebellious world, that if (iod sends to us the news of pardon and 
peace through Jesus Christ, and invites us to return unto hira 
and be reconciled, we are come to that, I say, as to take it as an 
high artVout at the hands of the Almighty. " He pretends to 
" offer us mercy," (say Cod-hating, God-provoking sinner"^), 
"but he only mocks us ; for he offers all upon conditions \\hich 
" we cannot possibly perform," This is as if tliey should say — 
" We hate him so much, and are of so high a spirit, that wc can- 
"not find in our hearts to return, and own the iaw to be just, bv 


" which we stand condemned, and look to his free mercy, through 
*' Jesus Christ, for pardon and eternal life ; and, therefore, if he 
** will offer pardon and eternal life upon no easier terms, he does 
*' but dissemble with us, and mock and deride us in our miser)-." 
And since this is the true state of the case, therefore it is no 
wonder that even infinite goodness, itself, has fixed upon a day 
when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his 
mighty angels, in flaming fire, to take vengeance on them that 
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ : And then shall ungodly sinners be convinced of all their 
hard speeches which they have ungodlily spoken against the 
Lord : And then shall the righteousness of all God's ways be 
made manifest before all the world. 

To conclude — God, the great Lord of all, has threatened 
eternal damnation against all those who do not perfectly keep 
the law, (Gal. iii. 10,) even although they live and die in the 
midst of the heathen world..../^o;w. i. 18, 19, 20 ; (of which 
more afterwards.) And at the day of judgment he will exe- 
cute the threatening upon all, (those only excepted, that are, 
by faith, interested in Christ and in the new covenant :) and 
his so doing will evidently be justifiable in the sight of all worlds, 
on this ground, viz. That they were not under a natural Jieces- 
sitij of sinning, but were altogether voluntary in their disobe- 
dience. Luke xix. 27. ...But those mine enemies which would 
NOT that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them 
before vxe. 

And this^ by the way, is the very thing which stops the mouth 
of an awakened, convinced, humbled sinner, and sctdcs him 
down in it, that he deserves to be damned, notwithstanding all 
his doings, viz. that he is what he is, notby compulsion., or through 
a natural ?iecessity., but altogether voluntarily. There is noth- 
ing more difficult in the whole work j^reparatory to conversion, 
than to make the sinner see, and feel, and own, that it is just.... 
quite just.. ..altogether just and fair for God to damn him. He 
pleads, that he is sorry for all his sins, and is ivilling to forsake 
them all forever, and is resolved always to do as well as he can. 


H^ pleads, that he cannot help his hmrCs being so bad... .that he 
did H'A bring himself into that condition^ but that he ivas brought 
into It bij the fall of Ai lain., which he could not possibli/ prevent^ 
(Hid which he had no hand in. But wlun lie comes, in a clear 
and realising manner, to see and led the whole truth, viz. 
he docs not care lor God, nor desire to, but is really an enemy 
to him in his vert/ hearty and voluntarlltj so, and that all his fair 
pretences and promises, prayers and tears, arc but mere h) poc- 
risy, arising only from self-love, and guilty fears, and mercena- 
ry hopes, NOW the business is done : For, savs he, It mtitlcrs 
not how I came into this condition^ nor xvhether I can help having 
so bcul a heart., since lam voluntarily yu.vf stah a one as lam, 
and really love <7n<7 choose to be xchat I am. Rom. vii. 8, 9.... 
Sin revived ayid I died. He feels himself without excuse, and 
that his mouth is stopped, and that he must be forced to own 
the sentence just ; for he feels that it is not owing to any rom- 
puhlon or imtnral necessitij, but that he is voluntarllij and hcar^ 
tlhj such a one as he is : And now, and not till now, does h« 
feci himself to be a sinner, completely so ; for he, all along be- 
fore, fancied some goodness to be in hiiy, and thought himself 
in some measure excusable: and now, and not,t:il )iow,\s 
he prepared to attribute his salvation entirely to free and sove- 
reig-n grace. All along before he had something to say for 
himself like tlie Pharisee : But, with the publican, he nu7V sees 
that lie lies at ;»f/'t «/.... Luke xviii. 13. This is the very thing 
that makes all mankind to blame, altogether to blame, for being 
what they are, namely — that they are voluntarily so ; this is 
the reason they deserve to be damned for being so, and this, 
when seen and felt by the awakened sinner, cflectually stops 
his mouth. 

And this, also, is the verv thing that makes believers see them- 
selves wholly to blame for not being perfectly hoi}', and lays a 
foundation for their mourning for their xuant oi a perfect con- 
formity to the law. They feci their defects are not the result 
of a natural necessity, but only of the remains'of their old aver- 
sion to God, which, so far as they are unsanctified, they arc 



voluntary in'.* And hence they cr)' out, I am' carnal., solJwi' 
dtr iin^O wretched 7::an that Jam /...Rom. vii. 14, 24; and set 
themselves down for beasts and foo Is.... Fs'Am Ixxiii. 22. 

And finally, this want of a good temper... .this voluntary and 
stubborn aversion to God, and love to themselves, the world 
and sin, is all that renders the immediate influences of the ho- 
ly spirit so absolutely necessary, or indeed at all needful, to 
recover and bring them to love God with all their hearts. A 
bare representation of what God is, were men of a right temper, 
would ravish their hearts ; for his beauty and glory are infinite. 
It is nothing, therefore, but their badness that makes it needful 
that there should be line upon line^ and precept upon precept. 
It is their aversion to God, that makes any persuasions at all 
needful ; for, were they of a right temper, they would love God 
with all their hearts, of their own accord. And surel}', were not 

• Obj. " Butdoesnot St. Ptf!// say, in Rom. vii. 18, To tvili is present niti 
" me ; but ho-v) to perform that which is good, I find not ?" 

Ans. 'Tis true, he had a strong disposition to be perfectly holy, but his 
disposition V. us not perfect. He had a strong dis])osition to love God su- 
premely, live to him entirely, and delight in him whoUs , but his whole heart 
was not perfectly disposed to do so. 'I'hcre wasa spirit of aversion to God, 
and love to sin, remaining in him. In me, that is, in mjjicsh, diuetU no good 
r;6/;!^....and this was the ground and cause of all his impotency : So that 
when he says, To viill is present ivith me, but hov: to perform that which is 
good, I find not, he means, " To be in a measure disposed to love God su- 
" prenicly, live to him entirely, and delight in him wlully, is natural and 
" easy ; but how to get my v.holc heart into the disposition, I find not — it 
" is beyond me, through ihe remains of the flesh, i. e. of my native contra- 
" riety to God, and love to sin:" Which remaining contrariety to God, and 
propensity to sin, so far as he was unsanctiiied, he was voluntary in ; but so 
far as he w as sanctified, he perfectly hated. With my mind, Iviyselfservethe 
laij oj God, but with myfiesh the taw of sin... .ycr. 25. And so the spirit lusted 
against thefiesh, and the ficsh aguin.?t the spirit ; and these two were contrary 
the one to the other, and hence he could not do the thirgs that he would. . .Gal . v . 17 . 

Obj. " But does not St. Paul sjjcak several times, in Horn. vii. as if he 
" was not propel ly to blame fnr his re'maining corruptions, when he says. It 
" is not I, but sin that uwcllcth in me ."' 

Ans. He only means, by that jilirase, to let us know.thai his remaining 
corruption was uot the gm'erning principle in him : according to what he 
had said in Rom. vi. \A-....Sin shall not have the dominion over you, for ye are 
vot under the taw, but under grace : but does not at rll design to insinuate, 
that he did not see himself to blame, )ea wholly to blame, for his remaining 
corrui}lion....F'or though he fays somclimcs. It is r.ct I, but sin that dwelleth 
in,nie, yet, at other limes, I am can at, sold under sin... \cr. 14. wretched 
man that I a77i,....\cv. 24 — like a broken-hearted penitent. But he could not 
have mourned for his remaining corruption as being siiful, if he had not 
fdt himself to blame for it. 



men vcr)' bad indeed, tlicre would be no occasion for his Vix\\- 
bassadors wiili4?/c/irflr;jr!»7/if.v* to beseech them : \Vc prnijijou^ 
sa}s the apostle, in Christ's steady bt" ijc reconcilfd to Got/.. ..11. 
Cor. V, 20. But now, that all external means that can possibly 
be used... .all arguments, and motives, and cntrca:ier,, urged in 
the most forccabie nuvi/icr^ should not be able to recov-r men 
to Crcxl, no not 07ie, in ali the worl 1, without the imnudiatc in- 
fluences of the holy spirit, can surely be attributed to nothing 
short of" this, that an apostate world are, in vcrvdeed, at enmi- 
ty ag-ainst (iod, and their contrariety to him is mightily sctdcd 
asid rooted in their hearts — mightily settled and rooted indeed^ 
that Paul was nothing, and Apollos nothing, and all their most 
vigorous efforts nothing ; so liiat without the immediate influen- 
ces ot the holy spirit, not one, by thenx, although the best preach- 
ers, of mere men, that ever lived, could be persuaded to 
turn to God.... I. Cor. iii. 7 ; but that the world should, in fact, 
rise in arms, and put the messengers of heaven to death, seems 
to argue enmity and malice, to the highest degree. It is men's 
badness that keeps them from taking in right apprehensions of 
God, and that makes them blind to the beauty of the divine na- 
ture, and that makes them hate God, instead of loving him : 
but for tliis^ they would love God of their oiun accord^ without 
any more ado. If God were your father^ (says Christ) ye would 
love me ; ijc arc of ynir father the devli^ therefore ve hate me. 
Surely, then, all the world arc inexcusal^le, and wholly to blame, 
for their continuance in sin, and justly deser\'e eternal damna- 
tion at the hands of God, as was before said : Nor is it any ex- 
cuse to say, " God does not give me suflicient grace to make 
*•• mc better ;" since I might love (.^od, with all my heart, of my 
own accord, with all the ease in the world, if I were but of a 
right temper : Yea, such is his glory and Ijeauty, that I could 
not but be ravished with it, were I sucli as I ougiit to be ; and 
my needing any special grace to make mc love God, argues 
tliat I am an enemy to him, a vile, abominable wretch, not fit 
to live : And to pretend to excuse mvself, and say, " I cannot, 
" and God will not make me," is just ari bad as if a rebellious 


child should go to his father, and say, " I hate you, and cannot 
" love you, and God will not, by his almighty power, make me 
" better, and therefore I am not to blame ;" for the wretch could 
not but love his good father, were it not that he is so exceed- 
ingly vitiated iu his temper. If our impotency consisted in 
and resulted from our want of natural capacities. ...if it was the 
business of the holy spirit to give us new natural faculties, then 
we might plead our inability, and plead God's not giving us suf- 
ficient power, in excuse for ourselves : But since all our impo- 
tency takes its rise entirely from another quarter, and all our 
need of the influences of the holy spirit to bring us to love God 
results from our badness, therefore are we without excuse, al- 
though God leaves us entirely to ourselves : And indeed no- 
thing can be more absurd than to suppose the Governor of the 
world obliged to make his creatures love him, ms/>ife of all their 
aversion ; or more wicked than to lay tl>e /Va/r?c of their not lov- 
ing him, iipoti hlm^ in case he does not.. ..y<'r. vii. 8. 9, 10 — IG. 

(Jbj. But if it be granted that jnen^s natural poxvers are ade- 
quale xvith the larv ofGod^ and so they^ as to their natural capU' 
cities, are capable of a perfect conformity to the law ; and if it be 
granted that the outxvard advantages ^xvhich all have who live un- 
der the gospel^ are sufficient, xverc men but of a right tevjper, to 
lead them to the true knoxvlcdge ofGod^ and .so, that all such are 
without excuse ; yet^ if any part of mankind do not enjoif sufji' 
cient outward advantages for the true knoxvlcdge ofGod^ xcithont 
xvhich it is impossible they should either love or serve him^ hoxv can 
such justly and fairly be acccounted altogether to blame ^andxvhol- 
ly inexcH.sable ? If the heathen, who have no other outward ad- 
vantages whereby to gain the true knoxvlcdge of God^ than the 
works of creation and providence^ do Init hoiustly improve xvhat 
theij have, shall not they be accepted, although they fill short of 
sinless perfection ? Or is it right and fair that they should be 
damned ? 

Ans. I suppose that those advant.iges, which all mankind 
do actually enjoy, would be suiruitnt to lead them to a true 
knowledge of God, and so to love and serve him, were the)- of 


a right disposition, and were it not for the prejudices that blind 
and darken tluir minds, which arise fronuhcir cnniitv to (iod, 
and love to ilicnisiK is, tlio world, and s\n,,..A'o»i. i. 20, '28 : 
And I suppose that Ciod, the wise anil holy, just and good 
Governor ot" the world, is uniler no natural obligation to use 
any supernatural means lor die removal of those prejudices ; 
{Rom. ix, 15.) especially considering that men love them, and 
aie obstinate in them, and will not let them be removed if they 
can help it, as is, in fact, the case..,.A'57«. i. 18, 28 — yohnm. 19: 
And I suppose that, since the law is holy, just and good, no- 
thing short of sinless perfection candor ou^it to, puss with the 
supreme Law-giver and Judge of the world, as a condition of 
acceptance. ...G'rt/. iii. 10 — Rom. iii. 20 : And I suppose that 
God was under no obligations to provide a Savior to bear the 
curse of die law, and answer its demands for a/uj^ since r.7/are 
\oluntaiily at enmily against him and his law..../v'!5//2. v. 8. 
Upon the whole, I suppose that all mankind might have been 
left in their fallen state, without a Savior, or any offers of par- 
don and peace, or any supernatural advantages whatsoever ; 
and that yet their natural obligations to love God with all their 
hearts, would have by no means ceased ; and that it would have 
been perfectly just and right with God, to have inflicted eternal 
damnation upon us, for our not doing so.... Rom. i. 18, and iii. 
19. And besides, I suppose that all the nations of the earth 
might have had the gospel preached to them, and, to this da\', 
enjoyed/it, had not the world been in arms against it, and killed 
the messengers of peace, who were sent to carrv the glad tidings 
of pardon andsahaiion round the world.. ..Mat. xxviii. 19 : 
And I suppose, that still, in every age of the Christian churchy 
there have been ministers of Christ, who would gladly go to the 
farthest parts of the earth, to carry the jrn ful news of a Savior, 
were men luit willingto receive the news, and repent, and con- 
vert, and return to God : Iknow, there are such in this age ; from 
all which, I suppose that it is right, fair, and just, for God to exe- 
cute the threatening of his law according to his declared design 
...Rom. ii.5,C. Thus much in general; but, to be more particular, 


1. It is plain that the heathen, as well as the rest of mankind, 
are under a law that forbids all sin, and requires perfect holi- 
ness. For thcrvrath of God is revealed from heaven against all 
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men^ let them h&yexvsor 
Gmtiles.. ..Kom. i. 18. And since God is what he is, and they 
his creatures, there is the same general gi-ound and reason th;it 
they should love him with all their hearts, as that others should. 
And it is plain St. Paul looked upon the heathen under obliga- 
tions to glorfjGod as God^andbe thankfid...JKovc\. i. 21 ; which 
is the sum of what is required in the first table of the law : And 
none will pretend that the heathen arc not obliged to love their 
neighbors as themselves, and do as they would be done by ; 
which is the sum of what the second table requires : So that it 
is a plain case, that thej- are, by the law of nature, obliged to the 
same perfect holiness which is required, in God's written word, 
of the rest of mankind. 

2. It is plain, St. Paul looked upon them as enjoying suffi- 
cient means of knowledge, and so to be without excur.c. Rom. 
i. \S.,..l'or the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all 
ungodliness and mirightcoiisncss ofmcn^ ivho hold the truth in 
unrighteousness. " Who hold the truth in unrighteousness, i. e. ' 
"who, instead of heartily receiving, and loving, and conforming 
"to the truth, do, from love to their lusts, hate, and wickedly 
" suppress, all right notions of God. ...of truth and duty,^stifling 
*' their consciences." But how do the Gentiles discover this 
aversion to the truth, who are under no advantages to know it ? 
** I answer," says the apostle, " their advantages are sufficient ; 
'-''{or (verse \^^ That which maybe inorun of God is manifest 
^'■in them ; i. c. the perfections of God, which is all that is 
*' knowable of God, are discovered to them ;" as he adds, " For 
"• God hath shelved it unto thcm.''^ But were not the j)crfertions 
of God disco\ cred to them so daikly as not to be sufficiently 
evident and perceivable ? " No," says he ; " for (verse 20.) 
" The invisible things of him^ from the creation of the worlds are 
"CLF.ARLY si:rN, being Understood bij the things that are madr^ 
" even his eternal j^ower and Godhead ; so that tlwij are without 


*'rY67«f ; i. r. ever since the creation of the world, the per- 
'^fcctions of (iotl arc ckarlv to be sicn in his works, the things 
" wliich he has made manifesting pbinly what a L'lod he is : so 
" that those who see not his perfections, and are not sensible of 
" his infinite glory., canmjt i)lead tl^irwantof suHitieni outward 
*' advantages, in excuse for their ignorance and insensibility ; and 
*' therefore die heathen, who have diis advantage, are widiout 
"excuse."* And, still faithcr to clear up the point, the apos- 
tle seems to go on,ti3 it were, to say — " Yea, it is evident tliat 
"die present ignorance of the Gentile nations is affected, and so 
"inexcusable, not only from the sufficiency of their present out- 
" ward advantages, but also from their former misimprovement 
"of the advantages which they hiretofcre did enjoy. Became 
" (ver. 21 .) -u'hai thcij kneiv God^ i. c. when the heathen nations 
*''-J'ornierhj had riglu notions of God instilled into them, being 
" instructed in the knowledge of the true Ciod, b\- Noah and his 
"sons, from whom they descended, yet tlun t/ici/glor/Jitd him 
'-'■ not as God^ neitlicr ivtrc thauij'ul ; their instructions had no 
*' influence upon them to make them holy ; but they became 
*' vain in their imaginations^ and their fooliah heart xoas darkened; 
" i. e. they soon fell ofl" to idolatry, and lost that knowledge of 
" the tRie God, in which they had been instructed and educa- 
" ted : For (ver. 28) they did not like to retain God in their 
'■'' knoiuledce ; i. e. to remember those instructions which had 

• If it should be objected!, that St. I'uul cnly means that their ad\ antaj/es 
were so great as to render thciii inexcusable in their ^';oj* iiLlatry wxALi^L- 
Landed wickedness, because they did, or might have known belter tium to do 
so, it may be easily u/ii-t:rr«/, iVoni the 18th venc, that he means to] rove 
tliat they were altogether inexcusable, not only in their ^;<..vj iim,, but also 
in at! tlieir uiigudliiiess and uiiri^/jccrjsiicsi-, i. e. j)!ain!) , in all their want ot jl 
perloct conformity to the moral law, or law oi" nature ; for the least de- 
gree of non-conformity, in heart or life, to the lirsi table of the law, is a de- 
gree o{ ungudlineiss, and the very least degree cf non-confomiity to the se- 
cond table of the law, is a degree of u/.ri^i)(anisi:ti3 ■ AxA St. Taiil is ex- 
press in it that the wratlicf Gcd is revealed frci.i heaven against all uu- 
gtidtintas, &.C. : And, in <tr/*e 01, he is full in it that the heathen are whoiiy 
inexcusable nut God as Cud, which is ii.auifestly all that the 
law ever required ; so that it is plain he does not dcsif^n mortly to prove 
that ihcy were inexcusable in their idnlatr:, and tii^; giocj wiciu ess cl their 
lives, but ah.o that they were ine.vt usable in, and wholly to blaii.e i'<-r tl>eir 
not be: n^ perfectly bdy : for they did, or mij>ht have known, that Gotl dcter- 
vcJ (ij be tovcd wit/j lilt tbcir heart, a'.id tbeir utigLijor ..»• tLcmsctvci. 


"been given them concerninij; the nuture and perfections of 
*' God;* But they abandoned themselves to idohttrv ; (ver. 2o, 
*'25.) For which caui;c^ (ver. 24,20) — for which contempt cast 
*' on God, God gave thent up to all manner of wickedness ; so 
" that the present e::treme ignorance, blindness, and wicked- 
"ness of the Gentile nations, thc\ have, through their aversion 
" to God and love to sin, brought themselves into : so that it is 
"manifest they do not desire the knowledge of God, but evi- 
*' dently hate all right notions of him, and so arc, beyond dis- 
'■'•^utt^xvithrAit excuse ; which was the point to be proved." — 
Thus he proves that they are without excuse, because their 
present advantages for the knowledge of God are sufficiont — 
wliich advanUiges, ever since the creation of the world, have 
been common to all ; and because they had once superadded 
advantages from parental instructions, which, instead of well 
improving, and of carefully handing down from generation to 
generation, they haud to remember, and, so, soon forgot. 

And these passages ought to be of more weight to decide 
the case, because they are not merely occasional strokes, but 
the apostle is evidcnily upon the very same poit^J. that I am : 
For, from tlie 1 8lh verse of this y7r*^ chapter^ to the lOlh verse (^ 
the tliird^ he is industriously laboring to prove, that both Jtivs 
and Gentiles arc all under sin^ and so the whole xvorld guilty before 
God : And his arguments are not fetched from AdanCsJirst sin, 
but iiom comparing them with the law of God, whereby he 
discovcis their weaknesses ; all the blame whereof, he entirely 
las s upon them : and because it might have been objected^ that 

• And I may aild — Ci)nccniiiig the sc: I of tbe v.'onian... .the promised Met- 
a.iah, (iml the wtiv ij'sulvatiori through him ; for, no doubt, Noiili and his sons 
had heard of" this. proTiiibc, and told it to their jjosicrity ; and il" they luid 
handed il down sale, t'roiii a^c to ap;e, the heathen \\<Mld niiglit, through- 
cut all gcneiations>, have heen in a waivable stale ; for this proniise con- 
tained ),hc fcuin and substance of the gu!|)el. Methuselah lived t"vi<j Aii/n/r*'/ 
and forty years in the days of Adain. Noah lived nix hundred, and his sons 
about a himdral ytVirs in the da) » of Methuselah : And Isaac wasyf/iyyeari; 
ohl beiure all Noah's sons were dead : so that this promise mi^ht easily 
Jiavc been handed along down by trailiiion, and doubtless would have beeu 
»o, had it been jirecious in the eyes of the children of men : And after- 
T.ards, farther light might have been obtained from Israel, God's peculiiir 
people, by ill* Geniile tiationit, had they rtally been det>iroiti> of it. 


thfhcathtn world had not strfficirnt means of kncnvledge^ and sa 
mere not ivliolhj to blame nud ijiexetisable in their nou-conformitij 
to the lniL\ he docs here designedly obviate ilie ohjcctiony and 
prove and declare ditm to he iiithout aTii/ chjeciion from that 
ffunrter. The apostle evidently lakes it for granted, thai ihey 
had sviHi< lent natural powers to cajineitate tiiem lor the knou"!* 
edge of Ciod, and he proves ihat their outwaidadvaniagrs were 
sufiicient ; and so he lays tiie whole biame of their ignorance, 
blindness, and wiclccdneas upon themselves ; and finally siini-* 
tiiem up, with the rest of mankind, as having their 7//^z/.'A*s7cftr 
pe<l^ wnd 6ta)id:n If (guilty bi fore God.. ..Chapter m. 19. 

The truth of ihe case seems, in a few words, to lie here ; — that 
if Adam had never fell, the works of creation and providence 
had I)een die glass in which he hiinself,and all his posterity, would 
have beheld the glory of the Lord, from age to age j ^\ hereby, 
being naturally of a right temper^ they would have been effec- 
tually infiucnced to love him, li\ e to him, delight in him, iuid 
praise him forever; or, in St. Paul's words, 7<? glorify God as 
God., and be thankful. And I suppose tiiat all mankind, still hav- 
ing the same natural powers, and die same outward advantages, 
•are therefore entirely to blame for, and wholly inexcusable in, 
ail their ignorance, blindness, and ^\^ckedness j especiallv con? 
sidering they perfectly love to be w hat die\ are, and hate to be 
reclaimed, and stand ready to resist the light when offered, aii4 
sriiut their eyes against the truth, from whatever quarter it comes. 
The heavens., still as clearly as ever, do declare the glory (f the 
Lord., and the fi rmamcnt sheweth his handy ivcrk ; day unto day 
uttereth speech, and nirrht rmlo ni^ht shexveth /:no-tcled{re,,.Pso\n\ 
xix. 1. I'he 7iatural perfect io/is of God are cleaily to be seen in 
all his works at the first glance, and his moral perfections would 
be equiJly evident to an intelligent creature of a right temper at 
the second thought : And then his glon»- woiild immediately 
bhine brighter than the sun, and every heart be ravi-^hed with 
his infinite beaut\- : But such is om- alienation from the Deity 
in this apostiitc world, and such the vitiated temper of our minds, 

that while angels see the divine glor) in all his woiks, (Rre. 



iv. 11.) men, sottish, brutish men, though they have eyes to 
see, sec nvot ; but are blind to the manifestations which God 
makes of himself, because thcij do not like to have God in their 
knoxvledge. And now, 

3. As to the heathens being accepted for honestly irnproving 
their porvers and advantages^ it is, inthc first pl(ice^n\o%i certain, 
from St. Paul's account, that the)' were at the very gi-eatest dis- 
tance from doing so. But, secondly^ if they had done so, yea, 
if they had discovered so good a temper of mind as perfectly to 
have conformed to the divine law, yet it is the very scope of all 
the apostle's reasoning, in the three first chapters of his epistle 
to the Ror.ians^ to prove that by the deeds of the laxv nofesh^ neith- 
er Jexv nor Gentile^ can be justified : And since the law is holy, 
just, and good, it is not, indeed, reasonable that any thing short 
of sinless perfection,yrow^rj/ to last^ should pass with the right- 
eous Governor of the world as a condition of acceptance. Fu- 
tu:e obedience, let it be ever so perfect, can do nothing to make 
amends for former neglects — as has been already proved in 
another place : But that which, of itself alone, is entirely sufficient 
to say in this matter, is, that it is expressly declared in Rom. i. 
18.. . .The ivrath of God is revealed from heaven against all wi' 
godliness (or every breach of the first table), arul unrighteousness 
(or every breach of the second tabic of the law), of men xvho 
hold the truth in unrighteoJLsncss : which words are exidently 
designed, by the apostle, to represent the character and state of 
,the heathen world ; for he spends the rest of the chapter in en- 
larging upon this head, shewing how the heathen held the truth 
io unrightcousncKs, and were exposed to the wrath of (iod for 
their ungodliness and unrighteousness ; and he concludes them 
all under sin^ and guilty^ and lost forever, unless they obtain jus- 
tification by faith in Christ.. ..{Sec Chapter iii. 9, 1 9, 20, 30 U(r- 
4r.y.) And thus we see how all mankind have not only suffi- 
cient natural powers, but also sufficient outward advantages to 
know God and perfectly confoiTn to his law, even the heathen 
themselves ; and that the yeiy reason they do not, is their want 
of such a temperas they ought toliave, and their voluntar)-, root- 


ed enmity to God, and love to sin.* And now that thcv arc 
wholly to blame and entirely inexcusable, appears still in a 
clearer light. 

But before I leave this point, I must make this remark, viz. 
That it' God looks upon the advantages of the heathen sufficient, 
no wonder that he so often speaks of the advantages of his own 
professing people as being much more than barely suflicient, 
even althoughthey enjoy only the outward means of grace, with- 
out the inward influences of the holy spirit : for, if the ruitiiral 
advantages of the heathen are sufficient, surely the siipt-rnatu- 
;a/adv;mtages of those who enjoy a divine rt-velation^ are much 
more than sufficient : And if the advantages of those who en- 
joy onh/ a divine re\clation are much more than sufiicient, no 
wonder then that those wiio lived in the dajsof Moses, Isaiah, 
and Christ, are represented as very monsters of wickedness, for 

• Obj. But it It impossible they should love Giai'icith all their hearts, if they 
have no hopes uj findir.gjwour in his tight ; tor he that coiiieth to Gotl niu-st 
believe that he is, ami that lie is a rewakdeii of them that diligeiitl) seek 
hiin....i/irZirMi* xi. 6. 

Ans. Coming to God, in Nth. xi. 6, cvidomly implies not only a confor- 
mity to the law, but also a compliance with the gospel; i. e. it implies not 
only a dispoiition to love God with all our hearts, but also a trustin;j in him 
for the divine favor anil eternal life upon gosju-l-cncouragenients ; which 
gospel-cncouragcments must, therefore, be understood and believed, or it 
will, indeed, be impossible so to trust in him. But I did not say that the 
Lr-tithtn were under surticient outward ailvantagesfor an evangelical return- 
in;; to God, which is what is intended in Hth. .\i. 6. but only for a com- 
pliap.ce with the law of nature, whioh is what is intended in Jiirni. i. 20,21. 

Onj. But still it it not, * . the nature of things, impossihle they should luve 
C-jit, iftbev have no hopes tf finding favor in his sight 1^ 

An3. Let common smse decide the case : — A servant hates his master 
(a very good man) without cause, murders his only son, steals a thousand 
pounds of his money, runs away into a far country, spends several years in 
riotous living ; at length he is caught, brought home to his master, who is a 
man in authority ; before hint he has his trial, is condemned, and has no hope 
of fuvor. But how does this render it impossible, in the nature (f things, 
that he should love his master ! Why cannot he love his master now, as 
well as ever he could ? He has the same original grounds of love he used 
to have : He used to love his master — his master is as worthy of his esteem 
as ever : He has no cause to esteem his master any the less, because he 
hini'-clf has been such a villain, or because he is doomed to die for his 
crimes ; — a punishment justly due. To dislike his master for these things 
would be perfectly unrexsonable : Surely, were he but of a right temj)er. 
he could not but take all the blame to himself, and justify his masrer, and 
esteem and love him, and be heartily sorry for all his Villanies : He can be 
under no inability, but what must arise from a bud heart. — Tkc applica- 
tion is easy. 


remaining blind, senseless, impenitent, nntl unholy, since they 
enjoyed such great^ and so inany superadded advantages : No 
v/onder, therefore, that Moses every where represents the chil- 
tkenof Israel as such a stubborn, perverse, stiff-necked, rebel- 
lious people, (particularly see Dcuf. Ix.) and makes as if their 
blindness, senselessness, and impenitency were most unaccount- 
iible and inexcusable, since their eyes had seen, and their ears 
tiad heard such things, and their advantages had been so great. 
Deut. xxix. 2, 3, 4.... And Moses called unto all Israel^ and said 
unto thein^ Te have seen all that the Lord did before yoitr eyes in 
the landoJ'£gypty unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants., and 
unto all his land ; (and that he might set forth the greatness of 
the things which they had seen, he adds). The great temptations 
which thine eyes have seen. .. the signs^ and thoae great miracles^ 
(all which have been enough to melt the heart of a stone, and) 
rjft (as he goes ori to say), the Lord (liy all these things which 
have been so much more than enough), hath not given you an 
heart to perceive.^ and eyes to see^and etirs to hear., unto this day : 
All these means have not to this day attained the end, and made 
you see, rind feci, and know what a Guddie Lord is, and bring 
}ou to love him, and fear him, and walk in all his ways. Mo- 
ses eviilently speaks of it as a very strange thing that they should 
be blind, senseless, impenitent, and unholy, after sucJi nuans 
and advantages — as if they were most inexcusable, vea, under a 
Very aggravated guilt ; whereby he ph " 'y takes it for granted, 
that their advant-Liges had been tnuch »;orr than sufficient, had it 
hot been for their want of a right temper, nnd their wicked ob« 
fetinac)' and perverseness ; And yet he mentions notic but out- 
ivard means and euhuard advantages, and does not give the least 
intimation that they had had any //J7tv//v/assistance from the ho- 
ly spirit : he does not luring any sut h thing into the account, but 
wholly aggravates their sin antl their great inexcusableness, 
from the consideration of their outxvai'd helps t-—?'- have seen 
all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt., &r. 
And no wonder lie thoiiglu them so very inexcusable, since Gful 
looks upon the heathen world witliout excuse, in that while the 


hfceocns declare the glory of the Lordy &c. ihey do not sec with 
their tyts, and |h rctivc Nvith ih*.ir hearts, and, from a sense of 
his glor)',onl)- iluis discovc-pd, love him, and li\ c to him ; for, 
il their advantages arc enough, surely the advantages of the Is- 
raelites were much, vt-nj mtich^ niorc than enough. 

And, upon the same hypoilicsis, it is no wonder that God 
looked upon the case of the children oi Isiacl as he did, in the 
time of Isaiah ; who, from the days of Moses even to that dav, 
had, from age to age, tnjoyed such outward advantages as they 
had, and had had such outward means used with them j and, 
in that age, enjojed so gieat an outward privilege as the daily 
prophesying and preaching oi Isaiah, Ilosea, Amos, and Mi- 
cah ; who, some, ii not all, of them prophesied, it is very prob- 
\\h\c^ for tij or Jijltj years together at the same time, as we may 
learn from the first verse in their several books, which tell us 
\N hen and how long ihjy prophesied, compared with the account 
we have of those kings' reigns, in the books of the Khigs^m 
whose reigns they prophesied ; — no wonder, I say, God speaks 
as he does ia Isaiah v. 1 — 7....j\[ij beloved hath a vineyard in a 
very fruitful hill : And he ftiucd it^ and gathered out the stones 
thereof and planted it xuith the choicest vine, and built a tower in 
the midat of it, and also made awine-prcs.s- therei/i : Here is rep- 
rc-x'nted the natmal powers, and outward advantages of God's 
people. — And he looked that it fihould bring forth grapes, and it 
brought forth lui Id grapes : And ncxv, in/uiHtants of fcrusa- 
letu, and men of fudah, judge, I pray you, betxuixt me ayid mif 
vineyard, ll'hat could have been done more to my vineyard, that 
J have not done in it ? Wherefore, xvtun J looktd that it should 
bring forth grapes, brought it forth xvi Id grapes ? Here all the 
blame is entirely laid on themselves, and their conduct is con- 
sidered as being inexcusably, yea, unaccountably bad. — Andnoxo 
go to : Ixvill tell you xvhat Ixvilldoto my vineyard — Ixvill take 
tni'ay t!ic hedge thereof S;c. Where nothing can be plainer 
than tliat the children of Israel arc represented asenjo> ing suf- 
ficient advanf.'gjs for fruitfulness — yea, advantages much more 
than barely suiHcient ; ai\d that tlieir pro\ing as they did, wa» 


unspeakably vile and God-provoking, and for which they de- 
served utter ruin ; and for which, indeed, God did afterwards, 
according to his declared design, bring utter ruin upon them : 
But all those advantages were outward ; nor is the inxvard as- 
sistance of the holy spirit any where brought into the account, 
whenever the greatness of their^advantages is set forth, on pur- 
pose to show how aggravated their wickedness was : but this is 
constantly the charge, as in II. Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16, \7....A7id 
the Lord God of their fathers sent unto them Inj his messengers^ 
rising up betimes and sending ; but they mocked the messetigers 
ofGod^ and despised his words, and misused his prophets^ until 
the wrath of God arose against his people^ till there xvas no rem- 
edy : Therefore^ he brought upon them the King of the Chaldees ; 
not because they did not improve the inward assistances of the 
holy spirit, but because they did not improve their outward ad- 
vantages. ...<i'/^ not hearken to God'^s messengers : And in this 
sti'ain their confessions ran, when God, by his grace, had brought 
them to see what they had done ; — as in Dan. ix. 5,6, &c... Jfir 
have sinned^ and committed iniquity ^ and have done wickedly^ atid 
have rebelled^ even by departing from thy precepts ^ and from thy 
judgments : Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants, 
THE PROPHETS, which Spake ill thy name. The not hearkening 
to them is mentioned as the great aggravation ; but their not im- 
proving the inward assistance of the spirit is not brought into 
the account.... Set* Nch. ix. 30. 

It is evident that the children of Israel, considered as a na- 
tion, had not special grace, or the renewing, sanctifying influen- 
ces of the holy spirit, as one of their advantages, from Jer. xxxi. 
31^ 32yo3..,. Behold^ the days come^ saith the Lord^ that I will 
make a new covenant with the house of Israel ^ and with the house 
of yudahy not according to the coveimnt I made rvith their fathers^ 
in the day I took them by the hand^ to bring them out of the land 
tf Egypt ; (7vhich7ny [national] covenant they brake ^ although 
J 7vas as an husband unto them^ sa/th the Lord ;) But this shall 
be the covenant that I will make xvitli the house of Israel : After 
those daysy saith the Lord^ I will put my Icnv in their inward 


parts^and ivrite it in their hearts^ aridxvill be their God^ and 
they shall be tnij profile ; — where the renew ing, s:inrtifving in- 
fluences oi tlic holy spirit are mcnlioncdvys a peculiar pri\ ilege 
the Jexvish people were not entitled unto as a nation^ by that 
national covenant which God entered into with them, as such, 
at Mount Sinai, (^Exod. xix. — Dent, v.) and which artcrwards, 
at the end of iorty years, was renewed at the honkrs ot Canaan 
....y^«/^xxix : Nor indeed were there any inward influences 
of the holy spirit, at all, promised in that national covenant, as 
a common pi ivilege, to l)0 by them in common enjoyed : And 
if they were not entitled to diis privilege, as a nation, by their 
national covenant, then diere is no e\ idence that they, as a na- 
tion, did enjov it ; and, therefore, when God speaks as if lie 
had done all for that nation that could be done, he plainlj- lias 
respect only to outtvard means^ which were all that the)-, as a 
nation, enjo\ ed : And, as to them, he evidently had good ground 
so to say ; since he had done such gi-cat things for thcni, and 
sent such prophets among tliem, and been continually taking 
all pains, from age to age, to make the in a holy people : even 
as we are ready to sa)' concerning the j)eople of a particular 
parish, where there is a learned, godly, plain, searching, power- 
ful, enlightening, faithtul minister, such as jNIr. Siikpard was 
in his day, What more conUI be done for such a jnoplc, that is not 
dofie ? And, therefore, when Stephen charged the Jews, t/iat 
theij always resisted the iiolij Ghcst^ as their fathers had done^ 
(in Acts viL 51,) he means, that they had always resisted the 
Holy Ghost, as speaking in and by their prophets, as now they 
did the same spirit that spake in and by him — as is plain from 
verse 52, and as is also c\ ident froxii Keh. ix. 30. And besides, 
there is not the least intimation, that those Jews, to whom Ste- 
phen spoke, were under anv of the inward influences of the 
holy spirit, but they seem rather to act like creatures wholly 
left of God. And this hint may help us to understiuid that 
phrase in AW;, ix. 20. compared with Sam. xi. 17 ; So that, 
from the whole, it is evident, that the children <jf Israel, as h 
nation, were, in Isaiah^ lime, looked upon as enjoying «(.'':y/;;- 


tages much more than sufiicient for tiicir being a holy and fmit- 
ful people, had ihey been of a right temper and not so wicki-dly 
obstinate and perverse in their bad dis]x>sition ; and yet their 
advatutages were only oiUivard^ and the inxvard 'iajtuencca of the 
h'jhj spirit are not taken into tiie account. 

And well might tlieir advantages i)e thus esteemed, upon the 
forcmcntioned hypothesis : Yea, if all mankind are able, in res- 
pect to their natural capacities, to pcld perfect obedience, and 
if the advantages of the very heathen were sufRcient, had it not 
been for the want of a right temper in them, and for their very 
bad disposition, it is no wonder that God speaks here concern- 
ing his peculiar people, whose outward advantages wercexceedr 
iflgly great, as if he had had ver}' raised expectations of their 
being a holy people : — ll'iicrcjore., xvlien J looked it should bring 
forth grapes^ brought it forth wild grapes ? q, p, '* I have done 
" all, as to outward means, that could be done, to make you a 
" holv people — enough, and more than enough j and I looked 
^ and expected that you siiould have been so : and whence is it 
^ that you are not ? How unaccountable is it ? And how great 
" is your wickedness \ And how great your guilt !""' For it is» 
God's way, in the holy scriptures, to speak to men after the man-r 
Rer of men, who are wont to have their exiiectations of fruitfulr 
ness raised, wlien they sow or plant in a fertile soil, well manu- 
red and cultivated. ...(See 3I(it. xxi. 33 — 41.) Just so a master 
is wont to speak to his servant, who is strong, and able for bu- 
siness — '■'• I looked that you should have done such a piece of 
" work, wherefore is it not doue ? You had time enough, and 
"^ strength enough ;" and that although he knew, in all reason, 
beforehand, that his servant would not do it, because of his lazy, 
unfaithful temper — the design of such speeches being to repre- 
sent the great unreasonableness and inexcusableness of such a 

And finally, upon the same h}'pothesis, it is no wonder that 
Jesus Christ represents the people of Chorazin, and Bcthsaida, 
and Capernaum, as enjoying advantages sufHcicnt to have 
brought even Tyre, and Sidon, and Sodom to repentance, which. 


in scripture account, arc some ol the most wicked cities in the 
world ; and s<i,conseq<icntly, more lliuii luircl) sufiicicui lu hav c 
brouu;lit ilicm to repcnfuice, who were, by prokssion, the people 
ol" (jod ; lor thi-y had enjoyed the minisir) of himself, 
and seen very many ol" his miyhly works.... iJ/.//. xi. 20 — 24. If 
tile advjint;\vjcs olihe heathen world arc sullicicnt, well might 
Christ, speaking after Uu- manner of men, seem to be so conh- 
dcnt that T\ re, and Sidon, and Sodom would have repented, 
if thcv had seen his mighty works ; and well might he speak as 
ifih'j people of Chorazin, S<c, had enjo}ed ad\ aniages more 
than b;irely suiHcicnt, and lay all the blame of their impenitency 
upon them — yea, and look upon them as under an aggravatetl 
guilt, and give them so heavy a doom : And yet noihing can 
be plainer tiiantliat tlie advantages which they enjoyed were on- 
K outivarJ^ for no other are brought into the account, as aggra- 
vations of their guilt : — JJ oc idUo thct^for If the mlghtij works 
7v/iich were done in you^ SiC. He docs not, in the le;ist, intimate 
as if they had any inw;u-d help from the holy spirit, but only says 
he li;is done rnig/Uy tt'or/iA- among them ; yea, indie 25th verse, 
he plainly declares that they were left destitute of .'.//L-r/o/^rflCf. 
And thus, while, widi St. Paul, we look upon the advantages 
even of die heathen world as sufficient to lead them to the true 
knowledge of God, and a perfect co^iformily to his law, but for 
their w ant of a good temper, and their voluntary aversion to God 
and love to sin, we easily see whence it is that the external ad- 
vantages of those who enjoy the benefit of a divine revelation, 
together with other outward means of grace, arc represented as 
being much more than bar<;ly sufficient — and consequently their 
guilt, in remaining impenitent and unholy, as being doubly ag- 

And before I leave this point, I must make one remark more, 
namely, that if the advantages of the heathen world were sul!^.- 
cient, but for their want of a good temper, Uieir voluntary aver- 
sion to God and love to sin, to lead diem to the true knowledge 
of God, and a perfect conformity to his law, us has been proved, 
then God was not under any natural obligations to grant to aiiy 


of iTTankind any supernatural advantages^ but still might justlr 
have required sinless perfection of all, and threatened eternal 
damnation for the least defect ; — I say, God was under no nat- 
ural obligations, i. e. any obligations arising from his nature and 
perfections : foi- he might, consistent with his holiness, justice, 
and goodness, have left all mankind to themselves, widiout 
any supernatural advantages, since their natural advantage* 
were sufficient, and they were obstinate in their ignorance, blind- 
ness, and wickedness. Most certainly God was not bound to 
have sent his Son.. ..his spirit.. ..his word.. ..his messengers, and 
entreat and beseech those who perfectly hated him, and hated 
to hear from him, and were disposed to crucify his Son — ^resist 
his spirit — pervert his w6rd, and kill his messengers, to tui-n 
find love him, and serve him ; but might, even consistent with 
infinite goodness itself, have Ict'them take their course, and go 
on in the way they were set in, and have damned them all at last. 
All that the great and glorious Governor of the world requires 
of mankind, in the law of nature, is, that they love him with all 
their hearts and souls, and live as brethren together in his world ; 
which is infinitely reasonable in itself, and which they have suf- 
ficient natural powers to do. And he has stretched abroad the 
heavens as a curtain over their heads, which declare the glwy 
of the Lord ; and in the earth, and in all his works, his perfec- 
tions are clearly to be seen — so that all are under sufficient ad- 
vantages for the knowledge of him ; but mankind hate God, 
and say unto the Almighty, Deport fj-om us, for we do not desire 
the knoivledvrc of thy 7vaijs : and hence ihey still remain igno- 
rant of God, averse to him, and in love with sin : And now, I 
say, it is as evident as the sun at noon day, that God might fair- 
ly have damned such creatures, without using anj' more means 
Vv iththem. Ilislawbcingthus upon a jKrfect level with their nat- 
ural powers and natural ad\antagcs, he \vas not oiiliged, as he was 
the righteous and good Governor of the world, to grant them 
anv supernatural assistance, either outward, by an external rev- 
elation, or inv»'ard, by the internal influei'vces of his ht)lv spirit : 
and iJurcfore it is, that ihe gieat Ruler of die world has always 


acted sovereignly and arbitrarily in these matters, bestowing 
these supcniatiiral fivors upon whom he pkases, as bciiij.^ obliged 
to none. Thus he has done as to tlie external revelation : 

Psalm cxlvii. 19, 20 He shnvetk his word unt9 y(icob....fiia 

statutes and his jihlgmcnts unto Israel: He hath net dealt so ivith 
anij nation^ and om for his judp^irj^its^ tlwij have not known thnn. 
And thus he has done as to the internal inlluences of his spirit : 
iVIat. xi. 25, 26..,. I thank thee^ Father^ Lord' of heaven and 
earthy because thou hast lild these things from the wise and pru- 
denty and hast revealed theru unto babes ; even .va. Father ^ for .so 
it seemed good in thtj sight : And thus God, even to this day, 
as to both outward and inward helps, hath mercy on rvhom he 
will have merely and romfjassion on whom he ivill have compas- 
sion : He ejfectuulhj sends the gospel to one nation, and not to 
another ; and where the gospel is preached, he, by his spirit, 
awakens, convinces, humbles, converts whom he pleases, arJ 
leaves tiic rest. 

And thus tlie objection, from the heathen's not having sufii- 
cient outward advantages, has been answered ; and, from tl-u; 
answer, I have taken occasion to make these (I hopi;) not unprof- 
iiiibk: remarks ; and may now return and icpeatmy former as- 
sertion, witii still higher degrees ofassurancc,^'/2:. that nwukind 
are altogether to blame for, and entirely inexcusable in, their 
non-contormky to the holy law of God, and therefore justlv de- 
sene damnation — and that even the heathen, as wella^ others. 

Thus liave I endeavored to. shew what is the exact measure 
of love and obedience tliat God requires of the children of men, 
and that all mankind have sufRcicnt natural powers und outward 
advantages, and that all dieir blindness, ignorance, :vid wicked- 
ness, are volimtary, chosen, and loved : And I have bsen the 
larger upon these things, in order to clear up the jVv/nr of (iod 
;md his lav/, and the grace of God in his gospel — both which 
hav^ been sadly misrepresented by those who have not aright 
underfitood or well attended to these things. They ha\ e said 
diat it is not just in God to require sinless pencction of man- 
kind, or damn any for the want of it : They have said that the 


law is abated and brought down to a level with (I hardly know 
what, unless I call it) the vitiated, depraved temper of an apos- 
tate world, who both hate God and his holj' law, and want an 
act of toleration and indulgence to be passed in favor of their 
corruptions, that, at heart, they may remain dead in sin, and 
yet, by a round of external duties, be secured from damnation 
at last : And so they have, like the Pharisees of old, {.Mat. v.) 
destroyed the law by their abatements ; and now the law, only 
bv which is the knowledge of sin, being thus laid aside, they are 
ignorant of their sinful, guilty, helpless, undone state, and so 
are insensible of their needof the sovereign graee of God,throuj^]i 
Jesus Christ, to save them — and fancy they are well disposed 
enough to turn to God of dieir own accord : And having imbi- 
bed such notions of religion, they easily see that the better sort 
of heathen have,for substance, the same religion with thcmeelves, 
and therefore have ecpial charity for them ; — not being reallv 
sensible of their need of gospel-grace for themselves, they have 
full charily for the heathen, who never so much as heard of it : 
But what I have said is sufficient, I think, to clear t\\Q justice of 
God in his law, and the grace of God in the gospel, and sweep 
away this refuge of lies, by which so many gladly quiet their con- 
sciences, and wofidly deceive their own souls. However, ot 
these things v/e shall ^till have somediing more afterwards. 

Tiiu'j, we have gone through what was proposed.. ..have con- 
sidered what was implied in love to God, and from what motixes 
we are to love him, and what measure of love is required: and 
all that has been said cannot possibly be summed up in fewer 
or plainer words than diesc, Thou sIkiH iove the Lord thy God 
-with all thtj hearty and with all thy soitl....xuith all thy mindy and 
xvith all tiiij, strength : This hthttjimt andgrcai ^ommundman ; 
in conformity whereunto the ftrst and great part of religion does 
consist : And the second^ which is like unto it, being the foun- 
dation of the other half of (this part of) religion, (now lender 
consideration), is, 7 '//OK shalt low thy neighbor as thy^ielf ; 
which is v^'hat wc are,m the next place, to proceed to a consid- 
eration ot. 




II. Thou shult love thij inig/U/or as thijsclf: In which words 
wc have (1.) the tlut\ rctiuircd — 'iliou shall love. (J.) The 
original, uaUnal groundand reason otit intiniatcd — T/iy neigh- 
bor ; which iiijnu., gi\cn to our fcllo\v-n\cn, nut}- lead us to ton- 
sidfrlheni us being what they are'm tlKmseIvcs,and as sustain- 
ing sonic k.ind of chararler and relation widi regard to us.— 
(3.) 'I'lic t iJc and standard by whiib our love to our neigh'aor 
is to be regulated — As thyself. Here, tlierefore, w, may con- 
sider what is implied in love to our neighor....from what motives 
we are lo love him, and by what standard our love is lobe reg- 
ulated, as lo Its nature and me;isure. 

First, Let us consider luhat is implied m that love to our 
neighbor, whicii, by the law of God, is required of us : And, in 
general, it is pre-supposcd, or implied, that we have a right tem- 
jier of mind.. upright, impartial, candid, benevolent temper, 
even to perfection, without tlie least tincture of any thing to the 
contrary' ; for, without ihis, we shall not — we cannot view our 
neighbors in a true light, nortliinkoi lhem....norjudgeof them 
....nor feel towards them, exixctly as we ought. A wrong tem- 
per.. ..a selfish, partial, uncanuid, censorious, caiping, bitter, siin- 
gv , proud temper, will unavoidably give a w rong turn to all our 
thoughts of, and ieeling towards, our neighbors ; — as is mani- 
fest from the na;.ure of the tiling, and from universal experience. 
Solomon observes, that as a uuin thinlieth, so is he ; and it is as 
true, that a\ a man iv, .so he thin'iclii ; for out of the heart — the 
temper and disposition of die man, proceed his thoughts of, and 
feelings towards, both pci-sons and thing-s, according to our Sii- 
vior....J/u^ xii. 33, o-t, ,i5. An upright, therefore impartial, 
candid, benevolent temper, to perfection, without tiie least tinc- 
ture of imy thing to the contian-, is pre-supposed and implied, 
in the love requirevl^ as being, in the nature of things, at)solutely 
necessary thercio. We must iuve a vigi-.f. temper, and, under 
the influence thereof, be perfectly in a dispo: ition to view our 


neighbors in a right light, and think andjudge of them, and be 
affected to\rards them as we ought ; i. e. To love theni as our- 
selves. Paiticularl)', 

1. There is a certain estcon and value for our fellow-men, 
^vhich, upon sundry accounts, is their due, that is implied in 
this love. There are valuable things in mankind : some have 
one thing, and some another — some have gifts, and some have 
grace — some have five talents, and some two, and some one — 
some are worthv of a greater esteem, and some less, consider- 
ed merely as tliey are in themselves : and then some are, by 
God, set in a higher station, and some in a lower, sustaining 
various characters, and standing in various relations j as ma- 
gistrates and subjects, ministers and people, parents and chil- 
dren, masters and servants, &c. And there is a certaitJ esteem 
and respect due to every one in his station. Now, with a dis- 
interested impartiality, and with a perfect candor, and a hearty 
good- will, ought we to view the various excellencies ' of our 
neighbors, and consider their various stations, characters, and 
relations ; and, in our hearts, we ought to give every one his due 
honor, and his proper place, being perfectly content,. for our 
parts, to be and to act in our own sphere, where God has pla- 
ced us ; and, by our fellow-mortals, to be considered as being 
just v.'hat we are : and indeed, this, for suljstance, is the duty 
of every one in the vihole system of intelligent creatures. As 
for God most high, the throne is his proper place, and all his 
intelligent creatures have their proper places, both with respect 
to God, and with resjioct to one another — which places they 
are bound to take, and to acquiesce in with all their hearts. Wc 
have an instance of this temper, to a good degree, in David : He 
was sensible that Saul was the Lord^s anointcdy and that it be- 
came him to render honor to whom honor is due, and fear to 
whom fear, and his heart was tender : hence Ddv'uPs- heart smote 
him^ hccdttsc he had cut offSun?s shirt, ...\. Sam. x:;lv. 5. 'I'Iub 
tvmper will naturally dispose us to feel and conduct r/r,'/i;' towards 
our superiors, inferiors, and equals ; and so lay a solid foundati(m 
for dir performance of all relative duties. The contrary toallthib 


is a proud and conceited itmpcr, attended ^^ itii a disposition lo 
despise superiors, scorn c([ii;ils, and trample upon inferioi-i ; 
a temper in which men over-value ihemsehes, their friends and 
|).iru ,and under-\ aUit- and despise allother*;. Sue h donot consid- 
er persons and things as being wljat thcyarc,and think, and judijc, 
and be afleeled, anel act aciordinp^ly : Nor do they consider, or 
Jejjfuvd the iliilerent stations in whiih men arc set by (iod, or 
the characters they sustain by di\ ine appointment, Thcv are 
not governed by the reason ot things, and tlie sense of what is 
right ;ujd fit ; but liy their own conaiptions. liiis was the case 
with Korah and his company, when they rose up against Mo- 
ses and Aaron, and said, 2e take too much upon you^ seeing all 
the coigregiition arc hohj^ cvvnj one of f/irm, and the Lord is 
among them. ...Num, xvi. i^. Pride makes superiors scornful 
in tlieir temper, and tyrannical in their government ; and pride 
makes inferiors envious in their temper, and ungovernable in 
their^hes ; and it makes equals jealous, unfriendlv, conten- 
tious : In a word, it lays a foundation for the neglect of all rel- 
ative duties, and for a general discord and confusion among 

2. We ought not only to consider, esteem, and respect our 
fcUow-men, as being what they are, and, with a perfect im- 
partiality, give diem their due, in our very hcaits, according 
to what they arc, and to the stations thcv stand in, being perfect- 
ly content, for our own parts, with the place which God has al- 
lotted to us in the system, and to be and act in our own proper 
sphere, and willing to be considered b^- others as beingjust what 
we are ; but it is farther implied in the love required, that we 
be perftrtlij benevolent towards them ; i. e. that we consider 
their happiness., as to body and soul — as to time and etcrnitv, 
as being what it really is, and are (according to the meas- 
ure of our natural capacities) thoroughly sensible of its 
\-alue and worth, and are disposed to be affected, and act accord- 
ingly, i. e. to be tender of it.. ..value and promote it, as being 
what it is — to long, and labor, and pray for it — and to rejoice 
ifk their prosperity, and be grieved for llieir adversity ; and all 


from a cordial love, and genuine good-will ; — the conti-aiy to 
which is a sclf.'^h spirit^ v.'hcrehy we are inclined only to value, 
and scek,and rejoice in ourov/n n'eliare,andnot care forour neigh- 
bor's, any further than we are infiucnced by self-love and self- 
interest — which selfish spirit also lays a foundation for envy at 
our neighbor's prosperity, and hard-heartednvss in the time of 
his adversity, and inclines us to hurt his interest, to proftiote 
our own. To love our neighijor as ourselves, makes it natural 
to do r.s we would be done by ; but a gelfish spirit makes it wi- 
natural. Malevolence^ rnalice^ and .ypite^ make it even natural 
to delight in our neighbor's mn^ery : And hence it is, that re- 
venge is so sweet, and backbiting and detraction so agreeable in 
this fallen, sinful world. 

3. I may add, that, so far as our fellow-men are proper ob- 
jects oi delight and complacency^ so far ought we to take delight 
and complacency in them : And hence it is that the godly man 
feels such a peculiM- love to the children of God, for that image 
of God which he sees in them. The saints are, in his account, 
the excellent of the earih^inwhom is all his delight. ...Vsv\. xyi. 3. 
The godly man is of Ciirist's temper, who said, Whosoever slwll 
do tliexvill of 7ny Father which is- in heaven^ the same is my broth- 
er^ and sister, and mother. ...Mat. xii. 50. But Nvitkcd men are 
oi' 3.noi\\(ir taste ; and the things. ...the tempers and dispositions 
in their neighbors, which to them appear excellent, and upon the 
account of which they delight in them, are odious in God's sight. 
Luke xvi. 15.... For that which is highly esteemed amongst men, 
is abomination in the sight of God ; for it is thetcmper of wick- 
ed men not only to do wickedly themselves, Imt also to have plea- 
sure in others that do so ioo. ...Rom. i. 32. Those who are 
vain, or imclean, or intemperate, suit each other, and take de- 
lig'.U in one another's company ; while, at the same time, thejr 
dist;iste and disrelish those tilings among mankind which arc 
truly most v;orthy of our delight. Jn a word, we ought so to es- 
teem others as to be heartily disposed to treat them with all that 
rrspcct whjch is their due ; and to have such a tender regard 
for their welfare as to be perfectly disjjosed, in evciy instance. 


and, in even' respect, to do as we would be done by ; and to take 
notice of all thtir good properties with that entire friendliness 
and perfect candor, as may dispose us to take all that delight 
and complacency in diem which is fit : In order unto all which, 
it is requisite that we be perfectly free from any tincture of pride, 
selfishness, &c. and have our hearts full of humility, benevo- 
lence, candor, and gf)odness. And now, 

Secondly. The motives by which rue arc to be injiucncedy 
lhu3 to love our neighbors as ourselves, are such as these : — 
1 . // is right and Jit in itself: As the aposde, exhorting children 
to obey their parents in the Lord, uses this motive, J'or this is 
right.. ..iLph. vi. 1. The reason of God's requiring of us 
to love our neighbors as ourselves, is because it is, in its 
own nature, right that we should ; and this ought, therefore, to 
move and influence us to Jo so. There is the same general 
reason why I should love my neighbor, as why I should love 
myself. Lovely thing-s are as worthy of being loved in him as 
in me ; and, therefore, by me, ought, in all reason, to be loved 
as much. There is the same reason why my neighbor should 
be esteemed as being what he is, and according to the station 
he stands in, as that I should. To esteem myself above my 
neighlx)r, merely because I am myself^ without any other reason, 
is unfit and wrong, at first sight : So to admire my children..., 
mv friends. party, as if there were none such, merely be- 
cause they are minc^ is imreasonable and absurd. IVIy very 
worst enemy ought, by me, to be considered and esteemed as 
being what he is, with an impartiality perfectly disinterested, as 
well as my very best friend. Good properties are not at all the 
better, merely for belonging to ae, or to my friends ; or the 
worse, for belonging to my neighlK)r, or my enemy : But it is 
right I should view things as they are, and he affected towards 
them accordingly ; indeed, I ought to be so far from a disposi- 
tion to esteem mysdf above others, and to be prejudiced in my 
own favor, (since I am capable of a much more full and inti- 
niate acquaintance with my own sins and follies, than with the 

sins and follies of others), that I oUj^ht rather to be habitually 



disposed to prefer others in honor above myself.... i?owj. xii. 10. 
— Piul. ii. 3. And so, as to my neighbor's welfare and hap- 
piness, there is the same ^e;2cr«/ reason why it should be dear 
to me, as that mv own should : His welfare is worth as much, 
in itself, as mine ; it is as worthy, therefore, to be valued, es- 
teemed, sought after, and rejoiced in, as mine : It is true, my 
welfare is more immediately put under my care by God Al- 
mighty, and so it is fit it should, by me, be more especially ta- 
ken care of ; — not that it is of greater worth for being mine, for 
it is not ; butv")nly because it is more immediately put under my 
care by God Almighty : The same may be said of the welfare 
of my family, &c. ; but still my neighbor's welfare is, in itself, 
as precious and dear as mine, and he is my neighbor.... he is 
flesh and blood as well as I, and wants to be happy as well as I, 
and is my brother by Adam j we are all but one great family — 
the offspring of the same common parents ; we fihould, there- 
fore, all be affected as brethren towards one another.. a» 
brethren, and seek each otlier's welfare most tenderlv and affec- 
tionately, as being sensible how dear and precious the welfare of 
each other is ; — this is perle;ctly right : And so we should bear 
one another's burthens. ...mourn with them that mcurn, and re- 
joice with them that rejoice, as being tender-hearted, <;ordiul 
friends to «very body ; and this from a real sight and sense that 
such a temper and conduct is perfectly right and fit, in the na- 
ture of things : And whereas there may be sexeral things in my 
neighbor truly agi'ceable, it is evidently right I should delight 
in those good properties according to their real worth ; — it is a 
duty I owe to my neighbor, tlic possessor, and to God, the giver 
of those good gifts. 

2. But that I should thus love my neighbor as myself, is not 
only, in its own nature, right, but is ?i\?,o enjoined upon me by the 
larv and authority ofGod^ the supreme Governor of the irorld : 
So that, from love to God, and from a sense of his right to me, 
and authority over me, I ought, out of obedience to him, to love 
my neighbor as jnyself, and always, and in all respects, to do 
S4S I would be done by : and not to do so, is not only to injure 


my neighbor, but to rebel ng^iinst Ciod, my King and Govern- 
or — and so becomes an infinite evil : Hence, it is charged upon 
Da\id, that, b) his conduct respectinjj Uriah, lie had despised 
the Lord^ znd despised the commandment of the Lord ; and this is 
mentioned as the ^rfa/«;//ofhissin....II. Som. xii. 9, 10; For 
he had not merely murdered one of his fellow-worms, but ris- 
en up in rebellion against tlie most high Ciod ; and practically 
said, " I care not for God, nor his authority....! love my lust, 
and will gratify it for all him :" And therefore, when David 
was brought to true repentance, the native language of his soul, 
to God, was — Against thce^ thee onhj have J sinned.. ..Ps'A. li. 
4. It is rebellion^ therefore... is despising the Lord. is an 
infinite civV, not to love our neighbors as ourselves. 

3. We have not only tlie authoiity, but also the example of 
God., to influence us to this great duty of love and benevolence. — 
God is love : He has an infinite propensity to do good, and that 
in cases where there is no motive from without to excite him ; 
yea, where there is ever)' thing to the contrary : Pie loves to 
make his sun to rise, and his rain to fall, upon the evil and uu- 
tliankful : He loves to fill the hearts of all with food and glad- 
ness, and to strew innumeral)le blessings roimd a guiltv, (iod- 
hating world ; yea, out of his great goodness, he has given his 
only Son to die for sinners, and offers grace and glory, and all 
good things, through him — being read}- to pardon, and receive 
to favor, any poor, guilty wretch, that will repent, and rctuiii to 
him, through Jesus Christ : And now for us, after all this, not 
to love our fellow-men — ^)'ea, not to love our vcrj'^ worst ene- 
mies, is very vile. Since God has so loved us, ivc ought surely to 
love one another....!, ]ohn iv. 11 : Since he has treated us, his 
enemies, so kindl\ , we ought now, as dear children, to imitate 
him, and love our enemies, and bless them that curse us, and df 
good to them that hate us, and pray for them which dcspitcfully 
use Jis, and persecute wy....Mat. v. 1-1,45. 1'he inliiiite beauty 
in the goodness of the divine nature lays us imder infinite ob- 
ligations to imitate it, in die temper of our minds, and in our 
daily tondiu.t : And it is ingratitude... .it is a shame... .it is 


abominable wickedness, not to love our worst enemies, and for- 
give the greatest injuries. Since the greatGovemor of the world 
has treated us worms and rebels as he has, one would think that, 
after all this, we should never be able to find a heart to hate or 
injure any mortal : Surely, we are under very strong obligations 
to accept that divine exhortation in Eph. iv. 31^32.. ..Let allbit- 
terne-ss, and wrat/i^ and anger, and clamor^ and evil speaking be 
put away from among you^ with all malice : and be ye kind one 
to another^ tender-hearted^ forgiving one another^ even as Gody 
for Christ'' s sake., hath forgiven yon : And (Chap. 5. verse 1.) 
Be ye followers of God as dear children. Besides, there are ma- 
ny additional obligations to love and benevolence, and to peculiar 
respect and kindness between husband and wife^ parents and 
children, friend and friend^ &c. arising from their mutual rela- 
tions, and dependancies, and from special kindnesses already 
received or hoped for. And now, 

Thirdly, As to the standardly xvhich our love is to be reg- 
idatcd^ viz. Thou shaltlove thy neighbor as thyself In order 
righdy to understand it, we must — 1 . Place ourselves, sensibly, 
as in the presence of the infinitely great and glorious God, before 
whom all the nations of the earth are nothing and less than noth- 
ing, and vanity, and, in the light of God's greatness and glory, 
we must take a view of our own littleness and deformity, and 
so learn how we ought to be affected towards ourselves, compa- 
red with God ; and as we ought to love ourselves, so ought 
we to love our neighbor : And now, in generalyWe ought to be 
disposed towards God, as being what he is, and towards our- 
selves -and neighbors, as being what we and they arc. Partic- 
ularly^ (iod's lionor in the world ought to appear infinitely moi-c 
valuable and precious than our own, anil tlKieiore our own 
ought to seem as a thing of no worti\, conijiared with his, and, 
as such, to be fi'cely parted with when God's lionor calls for it ; 
and as free should we be to see the reputation of our dearest 
friends ijiven up for God's sake, 'i he same ma\' be said of 
our woilfiK' interest and of all our worldlv comforts, when com- 
pared with God's interest and the interest of his Son's kingdom 


in the world, and of the worldly interests and comforts of our 
dearest friends : All, lK)th ours and tlieirs, is comparatively 
notliing, and ought to appear so to us ; yea, our lives and their 
lives are just the same diings — comparatively of no worth, and 
to be parted with in a moment, without the least reluctance, when 
God's honor or interest calls therelor. 2. In order to a right un- 
dt i-standing of Uiis standard, we must also observe, that our love 
to ourselves is habitual^unfeigned^ fervent ^active^ ^nd permanent: 
so :dso must be our love to our neigiibors. 3. A regular self-love 
respects a// our interests, butespecialljoursy'j/nVz/rt/and eternal 
interest : so ought our love to our neighbors. 4. A regular self- 
love naturall)' prompts us to be concerned for our welfare ten- 
</fr///....toseek it ddigcnthj a.nd pruc/cntlif,.. .to rejoice in xihear' 
ti/tj, and to be grieved lor our calamities .sincerely : so ought 
our love to our neighbors to prompt us to feci and conduct with 
regard to their welfare. 5. Self-lo\ e makes us take an un- 
feigned pleasure in promoting our own welfare : We do not think 
it liard to do so much for ourselves ; — (he. pleasure we take in 

promoting our weliare rexvarda o\xr pains The same genuine 

kind of love ought we to have to our neighbor; and so to re- 
member the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more 
blessed to give than to receive. 6. We ought ne\ er to speak of 
our neighbor's sins, or weaknesses, or any way expose him to 
shame and contempt in the world, in any case whatsoe\er, ex- 
cept such wherein it would be our duty to be willing ourselves 
to be so exposedby him, were we in his circumstances, and he 
in ours : And then we are to do it with that sensible tenderness 
for him that we could reasonabl\ desire from him, towards us, 
in a like case. 

Thus, then, we have briefly considered the second great com- 
mand of the law, and see what that mtaneth — 77/5?/ s halt love 
thij neighbor as thyself. To love God with all our heart, lays 
a foundation, and prepares the way for us to love our neighbor^ 
as ourselves. It removes and takes away those things which 
are contran,' to this love ; such as pride, selfishness, worldliness, 
a narrow, sting)-, envious, rcvengelul temper. True love to 


God mortifies and kills these things at the root. And, second- 
ly — True love to God assimilates us to the divine nature, and 
makes us like God in the temper of our minds. But God is 
love : and the more we are like God, the more are our hearts, 
therefore, framed to love and benevolence. He that dzvellcth 
in love^ dxvelleth in God^ and God in him. Love to God sweet- 
ens the soul, and enlarges our hearts to love our fellow-men. 
And thirdly — The more we love God, the more sacred is his 
authority with us, and the more glorious, amiable, and anima- 
ting does his example appear, and the greater sense have wc 
of our obligations to gratitude to him ; all which tend jointly 
to influence us to all love and goodness towards our neighbors : 
So that, he that knows God, and loves him, will be full of love 
to mankind ; and, therefore, he that love th 7iot, knoxvcth not God 
....I. John iv. 8. On the other hand, whei*e there is no true 
love to God, there is no true love to mankind ; but the heart is 
under the goveniment of pride, selfishness, and other corrup- 
tions, which are contrary to love : So that a genuine love to man- 
kind is peculiar to the godly.... I. John iv. 7. 8. 

And novv, from what has been said, wc may evidently see, 
these following sorts of love to our neighbor, are, neither of 
them, the love required, however nearly they may sometimes 
seem to resemble it. 

1. What '\?, covci\nov\y cviW^d natural cowpassion^xs not the 
love here required j for the most wicked, profane man may be 
of a very compassionate temper ; so may the proud, the self- 
ish, the envious, the malicious, and spiteful man — as experience 
plainly shows. And Ijesides, natural compassion docs not 
take its rise from anj- sense of the rectitude and fitness of things, 
or any regard to the divine authority, but merely from the an- 
imal constitution : And men seem to Ik' i)roperh' passive in it. 
It is much the same thing in tiie iuunan, as in the brutal nature : 
It is, therefore, a different thing from the love here required. 

2. The same may be said of what is called ^(5-o&^/-;;r//?<r<' ; It 
arises merely from animal constitution, and is not the love here 
required ; ibr such a mmi is not iniluenixd in his love by tiie 


reason and nature of things, or the authority of the great C Gov- 
ernor olUie world, or from a consideration of the infinite good- 
m ss of the divine nature, any m<jre Uian the licasis are, who arc 
some of them much better tempered than others : So that this 
sort of love has nothing of the nature of religion in it : And it 
is e\idLnt that many wicked and ungfwljv men have much of 
tliis natural gocd-tempcr, who yet have no regard to God ordu- 
tv : Yea, a secret grudge against a neighbor, reigning in the 
heart, may be, in the good-notutrd man, consistent with his^o&^a'- 
natitre, but it is not consistent with the love here required ; and 
thtrelorc they are evidently two things. 

3. That love which is commonly called nattiral affection^ is 
not the love here required. It is true tho{ man is worse than 
the beasts who is without natural affection, for they evidently 
are not ; but every man is not a saint, because he has natural af- 
fection : And it is true we owe a peculiar love, according to 
God's law, to our relatives ; but natural affection is not this love : 
for there are many ungodly wretches, who care neither for God 
nor his law, who have as much natural affection as any in the 
w orld ; yea, it is a common thing for ungodly parents to make 
very idols of ihtir children ; — for them, they go, and run, and 
w ork, and toil, by night and day, to the utter neglect of God and 
their own souls : aixl surely this CMinot be the very love which 
God requires : And bersides, as natural affection naturally 
prom])ts parents to love theu* children more than God, and be 
more concerned for tlieir welfare diau for his gloiy, so it is com- 
monly a bar in the way of their loving others as they ought :— *■ 
They have nothing to give to the poor and necdv — to t!ie wid- 
ow and the fatherless ; they must lay up all for their children i 
yea, many times they nike and scrape, cheat and defi-aud, and, 
like mere earth-worms, bury themscU'es its the world ; and all 
this for the sake of dieir children ; And \et all lliis love to their 
children does not prompt them to take care of dieir souls. They 
never teach their children to pray, nor insuuct them to seek af» 
ter God : They love tlieir bodies, but care little for their souls j 
Their love to the one is beyond all boiuids^ but, tj the other, 


is little or nothing : It is an irrational fondness, and not the love 
required. Indeed, if parents loved their children as they ought 
to do, their love would effectually influence them to take care of 
their souls, and do all their duty to them — which natural ajffec- 
ton evidently dpes not ; and therefore it is not that love with 
v.'hich God, in his law, requires parents to love their children : 
Nor, indeed, docs there seem to be any more of the nature of 
true virtue or real religion in the natural affection of men, than 
there is in the natural affection of beasts — both resulting merely 
from animal nature and a natural self-love, without any regard 
to the reason and nature of things. 

4. Nor is that the love here required, which arises merely 
from a party-spirit ; because such a one is pf their party, and 
on their side, and loves those whom they love, and will plead, 
stand up, and contend for them, and maintain their cause : For 
such a love is pregnant with hatred and ill-will to every body 
else ; and nothing will humor and gratify it more than to see 
the opposite party hated, reviled, and blackened : And besides, 
«uch a love is notlting but self-love in another shape. Te have 
heard that it hath been said, Thou shult love thy neighbor, and 

hate thine enemy : But I say unto you, love your enemies 

Mat. V. 43, 44. 

5. Nor is that the love here required, which arises merely 
from others* love to me: As if a rich man is kind and bountiful 
to poor people all around him, and appears to love and pity 
them, they, though almost ever so wicked, will feel a sort of 
love to him : But if this rich man happens to be a civil magis- 
trate, and is called to sit as a judge in their case, and passes 
judgment against them for their crimes, now their love dies, 
and enmity, and hatred, and revenge begin to ferment in their 
hearts. In this case, it is not the man they love, but rather his 
kindnesses : And their seeming lo\e, is nothing but a certain 
operation of sell-love. And indeed, however full of love per- 
sons may seem to betotheir neighbors, if all arises merely from 
self-love, or is for self-ends, nothing is genuine : and that wheth- 
er things worldly, or things religious, occasion their love. A 


(Kjor man will love and honor those ^\ ho arc rich, if he hopes 
to get any thing by it. A rich uum may hv. kind to the j^or, 
witli an eye to his credit. An awukemd sinner uill love an 
awakening preacher, in hopes he shall be converted by his raiu- 
istry. A minister may seem to show a world of love to the 
souls ot sinners, and all with an eye to applause. Hv]x)critcs 
will love a godly minister, so long as bethinks well of them, 
and happens not to detect their hypocrisy in his public preach- 
injj. Even the Gulat'uins were very full of love to Paul for a 
w hilc, so long as they thought he loved tlu;m, and had been the 
instrument of their conversion ; yet, afterwards, they lost their 
love, and turned his enemies, for his telling them the truth — 
while others, who loved him truly for what he was, were more 
and more knit unto him lor those ver)' doctrines for which tlie 
Galatiatis hated him. (fye love them which love you^ what re- 
icard hctve ije ? Do not the publicans the same?... .^\:iX.. v,A-&. 
There is no virtue nor religion in such a kind of love, and it is 
evidently no/ //it' fA;>:^g- required by the divine law. And in- 
deed it is a thing as difficult, and as contrarv to corrupt nature, 
for us genuinely to love our neighbors as ourselves, as it is to 
love God widi all our hearts ; and there is as litde true love be^ 
twecn man and man, as there is between men and God. It is 
for our interest to love God, and it is for our interest to love 
our neighbors, and therefore men make as //"dievdid so, when, 
really, there is nothing genuine and true : And, at the day of 
judgment, when a wicked world comes to God's bar, and their 
^ast conduct is all brought to light, notluug will be more man- 
ifest than that there never was a spark of true love to God or 
man in their hearts, but that, from flist to last, they wei e acted 
and governed either by their animal constitution, or else merely 
by self-love. 

6. I may add, nor is that the love required, when men love 
©tkers merely because they are as bad^ and so just like themselves: 
— Nature and self-love will prompt the worst of men to do so. 
The vain and proflig;\tc love such as areas bad as themselves : 
And, from die same principle, erroneous person* have a pecu- 


liai- regard for one another : And the enthusiast and blazing hy- 
pocrite may, from the same principle, seem to be full of love 
to their own sort, though full of malice against all others : And 
they may think that it is the image of God which they love in 
their brethren, when, indeed, it is only the image of themaelves. 
Persons of a Z>f/a'fa.s-?t*maygreatly delight in those things in oth- 
ers, which are very odious in the sight of God : But surely this 
cannot be the love required ; and yet, by this very thing, many 
a hypocrite thinks himself a tnie saint. 

Thus we see what it is to love God with all our hearts, and 
our neighbors as ourselves, and see these two distinguished from 
their counterfeits : And so we have gone through the two great 
commands of the law, in a conformity to which the very essence 
of religion does much consist. 

And now it is added by our Savior, lJl)on these two hang all 
the laxv and the prophets. The law and the prophets, i. e. the 
inspired writings of the Old Testament consider these two max- 
IV >, that we must love God with all our hearts^ and our neighbors 
flo ^urselvcs^ as first and foundation-principles : and all the va- 
rious duties which they urge, respecting God and our fellow- 
men, are but so many inferences and deductions from them. 

God must be loved xuith all the heart : and therefore we must 
make him our God and none else, according to the first com^ 
vmnd — worship, him according to his appointed institutions, 
agreeably to the scco7uI co77imand — with becoming reverence 
and devotion, according to the third — and that in all sucii 
set times as he luith appointed in his word, according to the 

Our neighbor must he loved as ourselves : and therefore wc 
must render honor to whom honor is due, according to the 
fftli command ; and be tender of our neipjhbor's life, chastit)', 
estate, and good name, according lo the s'wth^ seventh^ eighth^ 
and 7iinth commands ; and rejoice in his welfare and prosperity, 
according to the tenth : and, in all things, treat him as we could 
reasonably desire him to treat us, according to that golden rule 
of Jchub Chribt, in j1Jaiihcw\\'u V2. 


And as all the duties wc owe to C"»od and man, arc thus, in 
lUc thfortjy bat so niuny (/tt/wZ/Wv, neccssaiily flowing IVoni 
ilicsc ivio muxims^OT first primifAes^ so, when the lawofCiod 
is written in tlie heart ot" a sinner by divine grace, ami put in his 
inward parts, tliere will, Iroiu these two principles, naturally 
flow all duties to God and his neighbor, in hib dailv pra- tice ; 
!. e. lioni a disj)OsiUon to love God supremely, live to him ulti* 
matclv, ;uid delight in him suix.'rlatively, he will naturally be 
inclined and enabled sincerely to do all his will — to make him 
his (ioD, according to the fust command — to worship him ac- 
cording to his own appointments, with becoming reverence, and 
at all suitable times, according to the rest. It will be his ;2^///^r<? 
to do all Uiis — his meat and his drink, and so his greatest delight* 
And so, also, from a genuine disposition to love his neighbor 
as himself, he will be naturally inclined and enabled, in all things, 
and at all times, sincerely to do as he would be done bv. It 
will be his nature to do so — his meat and his drink, and so his 
greatest delight. ...//t/'.viii. 10 — jfohnxv. 14 — I. y^/jn ii. 3, -t 
—Psalm xix, 10. 

So that, as it is in t/ieori/y so also it is in practice ; these two 
arc like the itrcYthat virtually contams the whole plant, or liki> 
the root from which the whole tree grows, with all its branches 
and fruit. And in proportion as a man loves Ciod and his 
neighbor with a gonaine love, in the same proportion will his- 
inclination and ability, thence arising, be, to do all these duties : 
and consequently, when his love to God and his neighbor ar- 
ii\ cs to pt-rfcctioHy he will be pcrfecthj inclined and enabled to 
\k {h-rftxt in holiness and rightv^ousness, and will actiudh;^ in ail 
llun^y perfect lij conforn> to (•oth tables of the law. And it i* 
equally evident, Uuit, until a m:in has a genuine love to C iod and 
his neighbor ikn his heart, he will have neither inclination nor 
ability (in a moral and spiritiuil sense) to perform one act of true 
obedience : for ixs all true ohnlicnce^ according tf> tlic law and 
propheLs, is to flow &om these two principles, so, conse(|uent- 
ly, according to the law and pmphets, that is 7i'J true oheJienee^ 
\\\\\c\\doesnot : And, therefore, wlicu all a man's religion is 


merely from self-love, and for self-ends, he cannot be said, 
stricdy speaking, to do any duty to God or his neighbor, or 
cbey one command ; for he only serves himself^ and that from a 
supreme love to himself, which the law and the prophets do not 
require, hnistrictly forbid^ in that they enjoin the direct contrary. 
So that now, in a few words, we may here see rvherein true 
religion does consist, as it stands distinguished from all the false 
religion in the world. The godly man, from seeing God to 
be just such a one as he is, and from a real sense of his infinite 
glory and amiableness in being such, is thereby influenced to 
love him supremely, live to him ultimately, and delight in him 
superlatively : from which irnvard frame of heart, he freely runs 
the way of God's commands, and is in his element when doing 
God's will. He eats, he drinks, he works, he prays, and does 
all things, with a single eye to God, whd has placed him in 
this his world, allotted to him his peculiar station, and pointed 
out before him all the business of life*. ..always looking to him 
for all things, and always giving thanks unto his name, for all 
his unspeakable goodness to a wretch so infinitely imworthy* 
And, with a spirit of disinterested impattiality, and genuine 
benevolence, he views his fellow-men. ..;gives them their places 
....takes his own, and loves them as himself : Their welfare is 
dear to him ; he is grieved at their miseries, and rejoices at 
their mercies, and dtjights to do all the good he can, to every 
one, in the place and station which God has set him in. And 
he finds that this nerv and divine temper is inwrought in 
his very nature ; so that, instead of a forced religion, or a 
religion merely by fits, his very heart is habitually bent and in- 
clined to such views and apprehensions — to such an inward 
temper, and to such an outward conduct. 

I'his, this is tlic religion ofthe Hil)le — the religion which the 
hvS^ and the prophets, and w hich Christ and his apostles too, irfl 
join to teach — the religion which Christ came into the world 
to recover men unto, and to which the spirit of (iod does actu- 
ally recover every believer, in a greater or lesser de^pxe. Thus, 
\A\OiQ xvho are dead in «/t, are yw/citvkY/.i.,Eplii ii. 1 — Ilirve 


thrlcnvwrittrn in their hrartv. ...lich. vlii. 10 — Are made new 
creatures^ all old thina^s beincr donr monif^ and all things bcrome 
Txnv....\\. Cor. v. 17 — And arc cfTfciually taught to dtiii/ all 
ungodliness andworldly ItistSy and to live xobcrly, rifrhteoitsly^ 
and godly in this present world.. ..Tit. ii. 12 — And so nerve God 
nuthoutjl-ar^ in holiness and righlcousness^ all the days of their 
//t;r>v....Luke i. 74, 75, 

And this is specifically different from everv sort of false re- 
ligion in the world : For all kinds of false religion, however dif- 
ferent in other diings, yet all agree in this, to result merely irom 
a principle of self-love, whereby fallen men, being ignorant of 
God, are inclined to love themselves supremely, and do all 
things for themselves ultimately. All the idolatrous religion of 
the heathen world, in which some took much pains, had its rise 
from this principle. They had some notion of a future state — 
of a heaven and a hell, as well as of temporal rewards and pun- 
ishments, and so were moved by hope and fear, from a princi- 
ple of self-love, to do something to pacify the anger of the gods, 
and recommend themselves to the favor of their deities : And 
all the superstitions of the seemingly devout papist.. ..his /;a?f;-- 
nosters., his ave-marias, his penances and pilgrimages^ and end- 
less toils, still arise from the same principle : So does all the 
religion of formalists, and legal hypocrites, in the reformed na- 
tions : It is a slavish fear of hell, and merccnar}' hope of heav- 
en, which, from a principle of self-love, sets all a going ; yea, 
the evangelical hypocrite, who mightily talks of supernatural, 
divine light — of the spirit's operations — of conversion, and a 
new nature, still, after all, has no higher principle in him than 
self-love. His conscience has been greatly enlightened, and 
his heart tciTified, and his corruptions stunned : and he has, by 
the delusions oi Satan, obtained a strong confidence of the love 
of God, and pardon of his sins ; so that, instead of being influ- 
enced chiefly by the fear of hell, as the legal hvpocrite is, he is 
ravished widi heaven ; but still, all is from self-lo\ e, and for 
self-ends : and, properly and scripturally speaking, he neither 
knows God, nor cares at all for him* And this is the very case 


witli every graceless man living, of whatever denomination ; 
whether a Heathen, or Jew, or Christian — whether Papist, or 
Protestant — whether Churtii-man, Presbyterian, Congrega- 
tionalist, or Separatist — whether a Pelagian, Arminian, Cahin- 
ist, Antinomian, Baptist, or Quaker, And this is the case 
with every ^JY/a7trw man living, rrAtt^cucr his attainments niaif 
otherwise be; — though he hath all knowledge to understand all 
mysteries, and can speak with the tongues of men and angels, 
and has faith to remo\e mountains, and zeal enough to give all 
his goods to feed the poor, and his body to be burned ; )et he 
has no charitij — ^he is perfectly destitute of this genuine love to 
God and his neighbor, and has no higher principle in his heart, 
from which all his religion pix)ceeds, but a supreme love to 
himself. F.or, ever since our first parents aspired to be as gods, 
it has been the Jiatiire of all mankind to love themselves supreme- 
ly, and to be blind to the infinite beauty of the divine nature j 
iud it remains so to be with all, until renewed by divine grace : 
So that self-love is the highest principle from which unregene- 
rate men do ever act, or can act. 

Here, therefore, we have true^ religion. ...a religion specifi- 
cally different from all other sorts of religion in the world, stand- 
ing in a clear view : yea, and we may be absolutely certain 
that this is the very thing which has been described : For this 
conformity to the moral law is, throughout all the Bible, by 
Moses and the prophets. Christ and his apostles, repre- 
sented to be the very thing in which the essence of religion ori- 
ginally consists. " Blessed be the name of the I^ord forever, 
" who has given us so clear a revelation of his will, and so sure 
" and certain a guide as his word," Come here, all vou poor, 
exercised, broken-hearted saints, that live in this dark, benight- 
ed world, where many run to and fro, and where there are a 
ihouscuul dilferent opinions, and every one confident that he is 
right J — come here to the law and to the testimony ; — come 
here to Christ himself, and l(;arn what the truth is, and be set- 
tled — be confirmed, and be established foivver ; and remember, 
and practise upon those words of Jesus Christ, in John vii, 17 


,...Ifiinij man will do his xvill^ lir shall hiow of the doctr'iue^ 
T.'hrthcr it he of God. O, read the DiWc — live lives of pr.iN cr 
and communion with God ; yea, die to yourselves, the world 
and sin, and return home to (iod through Jesus Christ — :md 
love him, and live to him, and delight in him more and more — 
and be more and more disinterested and imparlial... sincere and 
!( rvent, in your love to your neighbors — do all the good, to ev- 
eiy one, that you ran ; in a word, be the servants of God, and 
grow up into his image, luid your certainty of divme truths will 
pi-oportionably strengthen and increase : For the more \()ur 
understandings are free from that darkness and prejudice that 
sin has introduced, the clearer will you view divine truths, and 
the greater sense will you have of their inliercnt divine glory ; 
and so vour belief of their divinity will be the more unshaken. 
Having Uius gone through widi what was proposed, a general 
improvement of the whole is all that now remains : And, indeed, 
much use mav be made of these gieat truths, which have been 
thus explained and proved, for our instruction in some of the 
most controverted points in religion, and to clear up the believ- 
er's gracious state, and also to promote our humiliation^ arul 
thankfidiic^s^ and universal obedience, 




Use I. Of instruction. We have seen what the law of God 
req\iires, and the infmite obligations we are under perfectlv to 
conform to it.. ..we ha\c seen whcrtin a genuine conformity to 
the law consists, and how a genuine conformity to it difters from 
all counterfeits ; and what has been said may help us to under- 
stand the following particulars : 

1. Wherein comixted the moral image of God in 7uhich Adam 
luas created. That Adam was created in the image of God, is 

expressly aftlrmtd in Gen. i. 27 So God created jnan in hisoivn 

image^ in the image of God created he him : And from these 
words we ha\ e just die same reason to believe lliat Adam was 

130 TRUE bi:licion delineated, and 

created in the morale as that he was in the natural image of God ; 
because tiiev tell us in plain terms, without any distinction or 
exception, (nor is there any that can be gathered from any oth- 
er text), that he was created in the image of God ; but the moral 
as well as the natural perfections of God are equally contained 
in his image: As to iht political im^'ge oi God, Adam^ strictly 
speaking, was not created in that j because, as the scriptures in»i 
form us, it was after his creation that he was made Lordoi this 
lower v/orlcl....G£^/i. i. 28. And it is, I think, with less propri- 
ety that this is, by divines^ called the image of God — I do not 
know that it is any where so called in scripture ; and God was 
the same he is now, before he sustained the character of supreme 
JL-ord and Governor of the world. His natural ?lx\(\. moral per- 
fections comprised his whole image before the world was crea- 
ted J and in this his image was his creature, man, created : not 
in part of his image, for there is no such intimation in all the Bir 
ble ; but in his iinage, comprising his moral^ as well, and as 
much, as his natural perfections. 

Now, the moral image of God does radically consist in a tem' 
per of mind or frame tf heart perfectly answerable to the moral 
laxv — the moral law being, as it were, a transcript of the moral 
perfections of God : So that, from what has been said of the na- 
ture of the moral' perfections of God, and of the nature of the 
moral law, we may learn wherein consisted that moral image 
of God in which Adam was created. He had a perfect moral 
rectitude of heart.. ..a perfectly right temper of mind, and so was 
perfectly disposed to love God with all his heart, and his neigh- 
bors (if he had had any) as himself— was perfectly disposed to 
give God his place, and take his own. ...and consider God as be- 
ing what he was, and be affected and act accordingly.. ..and to 
consider his fellow-men (if hi- had had any) as Ixing what they 
were, and feel and act accordingly : And in this image of God 
was he created, as the scriptures teach us ; i. e. he was brought 
into existence with such a temper co^/jarwra/ to him. 

Now here is a new-made creature in a new world, viewinjjj 
God, and word* ring at his infuiiti: tjlorv, looking all round, a?*- 


tonlsliccl at the divine perfections shining forth in all his works: 
He views the spacious heavens.. ..tlicy declare to him the glory 
of the Lord : He sccshis wisdom and his |X)wtr...he wonders ami 
adores . He looks rovmd upon all his works.. ..they clearly dis- 
cover to him the invisible things of (iod, even his eternal power 
and godhead ; and he stands amazed, (iod makes him Lord of 
this lower world, appoints to him his daily employment, and 
puts him into a state of trial, setting life and death before him ; 
and he sees the infinite wisdom, holiness, justice and goodness 
of God in all. ...he falisdown and worships.. ..he exults in (iod, 
and, with all his heart, gives up himself to God with sweetest 
deliglit ; — all is genuine, naturaJ, and free, resulting from the 
native temper of his heart- 
Here he beheld God in his infinite glor)', viewed his works, 
contemplated his perfections, admired and adored him with a 
sweetness and pleasure of soul most refined ! Here he saw God 
in all the trees, plants, andhert)s in the garden, his happy seat, 
while, out of love to God and duty, he attended his daily busi- 
ness.. .he ate and drank, and blessed his great benefactor ! He saw 
tiiai it was infinitely rcasonal)le that he should love God with 
all his heart, and obey him in every thing, if eternal life had not 
at all been promised ; both because God infinitely deserved it at 
his hand, and also in doing thereof there was the greatest satis- 
faction and delight : And he saw that if he, in an} thing, should 
disobey his sovereign Lord and rightful Governor, it would be 
light, infiniteh' right, that he should be miserable forever, even 
if God had never so threatened ; because to (Xx^ohcy such a Go J 
appeared to him an infinite evil. He looked upon the pron^isc 
of eternal life as a mere free bounty : He looked upon the threat- 
ening of death as impartial justice : And while he considered 
eternal life umlcr die notion of a reward promised to perfect 
obedience from Ciod, his Govei"nor, he saw his infinite love to 
righteousness therein, as well as his infinite bounty : And while 
he considered death under the notion of a pi'nisiimkxt threat- 
ened against sin, he sa^v God's infinite hr.tred of iniquity there- 
in, as well as his impiutial justice : Aiul when he saw how God 



loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and beheld his infinite 
goodness on the one hand, and impartialjustice on the other, he 
was ravished.. ..Now he saw plainly what God was, and his in- 
finite glory in being such, and loved him with all his heart : It 
was natural io account such a God infinitely amiable, and it was 
natural to love him with all his heart ; — all was genuine and 
free, resulting from the native temper oi his mind. 

These being his views and apprehensions, and this his nature^ 
hence, although he was under a covenant of works, yet the hopes 
of happiness and the fears of miser}' were not the original and 
Jirnt spring of his love to God : it was not originally from self- 
love, and for self-ends, but from a sense oi the beauty of the di- 
vine nature ; and so it was not forced and hypocritical, but free 
and genuine : it did not feel like a burden, but it was esteemed 
a privilege ; and, instead of being disposed to think it much to 
love God with all his heart, and obey him in every thing, he 
rather thought it infinitely right and Jit, as being God's c/ue^ and 
that he deserved no thanks from God, but rather was under in- 
finite obligations to give thanks to God forever, for such an in- 
finite privilege : And thus we see wherein that inoral ifnage of 
God consisted in which Adam was created. 

2. From all which, it is a plain matter of fact that rve are born 
into the world eniirehj destitute of the moral image of God : So 
certain as that the moral image oi God radically consists in such 
a temper, and makes it natunil to have such-like \ lews and dis- 
positions — so certain we are in fact bom without it. Look in- 
to children, and there is nothing to be seen of these things ; 
And we are all sure that such a temper and such-like \ lews and 
dispositions are not natural to us ; yea, most men are sure there 
is still no such thing in them, and very many believe there is no 
such thing in the world. We are^ in fact, horn like the zvildass^s 
colt^ as senseless of God, and as void and destitute of grace : 
We have nature, but no grace — a taste for natural good^ but no 
relish for moral hecaUij — an apju-tife for hapjnness^ but no appe^ 
tite for holiness — a heart easi))- affected and governed by selfish 
considerations, but blind to the moral rectitude and fitness of 


things : And so wc have a heart to love ourselves, but no heart 
to lo\c Ciod ; and may be moved to act l)\ sellish views, but 
cannot be influenced by the infinite moral beauty ol the divine 
nature. IVifli which is born ojthcjlesh ixjicsh,... John iii. 6— 
and will onlv mind ;uid relish things which suit its na- 
ture. ...A'c//:. N iii. 5 — ljut is blind to spuitual diings....! 6'or. ii. 
14. 1 rue, indeed, in thildien there are m^ny }iatural excellen- 
f.'r.v....niany things pleasing and agreeable : In a good mood, 
they appear loving and kind, innocent and harmless, humble and 
meek — uiid so does a lamb. There is noUilng but nature in 
these appearances : It is owing to their animal constitution, and 
to their being pleased and humored : It is all from no higher prin- 
ciple tlian scU-lo^"e. — Cross Uiem,andthe3' will presently feel and 
act bad enough : 1 hey have , in their temper and most early con- 
duct, no regard to God or duty, of to the reason and nature of 
things, but are moved and affected merely as things please or 
displease them, making their happiness their last end : And, 
indeed, if the image of God, holiness, or grace, or whatever we 
call it, be really such a thing as has been said, then nothing of such 
a nature can possibly be more plain and evident than this univer- 
sally is, that mankind are, in fact, bona into the world destitute, 
entirely destitute thereof.. .. ^o^ xi. 12 : And hence, we must 
6e tern a p-ain.,.. John iii. 3, 6, 

Ob J. But ivhcrt\ then, ivas the propriety of Christ's sai/ing, in 
Mat. xviii. 3.... Except ye be converted, and become as little 
children, ye shall not enter into the kindom of heaven ? Is it not 
here sxippoaed that little children are patterns of hwnility and 
goodness ? 

Ans. And where was the propriety of those words in Isaiah 
liii. r — where the prophet, speaking of Christ's meekness and 
patience under his suflerings, says, As a sheep befure her shear- 
ers is dumb,, so he opened not his mouth ? Is it not here supposed 
diat sheep are patterns of meekness and patience ? The trutli is, 
diat these allusions do not prove that either sheep or little chil- 
dren naturally have any reall:umilitvor meekness, of a gracious 
nature, but onl)- an appearance of it ; And just of Uic same na- 


ture afe those phrases in Mat. x. \&....As ruise as 
harmless as doves. But as these scriptures do not prove that 
shecp^ and serpents^ and doves have grace, so neither does that 
other text prove that little children naturally have it. 

3« By comparing ourselves with the holy law of God, as it 
has been already explained, we may also learn that we are born 
into the world, not only destitute of a conformity to the law, but 
that we are nativchj diametrically opposed to it in the temper of our 
hearts. The law requires us to love God supremely^ but the na- 
tive bent of our hearts is to love ourselves supremely : The law 
requires us to live to God ultimately , but the native bent of our 
hearts is to live to ourselves ultimately : The law requires us to 
delight in God superlatively, but the native bent of our hearts is 
to delight in that which is not God, wholly : And, finally, the law 
requires us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but the native 
bent of our hearts is to be inordinately selfish. 

These are the earliest dispositions that are discovered in our 
nature : And although I do not think that they arc concreated 
by God together with the essence of our souls, yet they seem to 
be the very first propensities of the new-made soul : So that 
they are, in a sense, connatural ; our whole hearts are perfectiy 
and entirely bent this way, from their very first motion. These 
propensities, perhaps, in some sense, may be said to be con- 
tracted, in opposition to their being strictly and philosophically 
natural, because they are not created by God with the essence 
of the soul, but I'esult from its nativ^e choice, or rather, more 
strictly, are themselves its native choice : But most certainly 
these propensities are not contracted, in the sense that many vi- 
cious habits arc; — namely, by long vise and custom. In opposi- 
tion to such vicious habits, thov may be called connatural. Lit- 
tle children do very early bad things, and contract Irad disposi- 
tions ; but these propensities are evidently antecedent to every 
bad thing infused or instilled by evil examples, or gotten b) 
practice, or occasioned by tcmi)lations : And hence, it is become 
customarj- to call them natural, and to say that it is our trr// 7?<7- 
ture to be so inclined : And to say that these propensities arc 


nuturaly would, to common people, be the most apt way of ^x- 
prcssim:^ tiic thing ; but it ought to be lemc luhcicd that they ure 
not nuturul in the s*iuc sense as \\\c faculties of our souls are : 
for tlu-y are not the workmanship of Ciod, but are oui native 
clioice, and tlic voluntary, free, spontaneous iKiit of ou r>-arts : 
And to keep up this distinction, 1 hvnjuenily choose i , use the 
word nulivcy instead of natural. 

And now, that diesc dispositions ai-c, as it were, thus bom 
withuB, is as evident from experience, as any thing of this kind 
can be ; forUiese arc the earliest dispositions that man's nature 
discovers, and are e\ ideutly discovered before little children 
au"e capable of learninp; them from others : Yea, it is plainly the 
very native bent of their hearts to love themselves above all.... 
to make their ease, comfort, and happiness their last end and 
their all, and to seek for all from the creature^ or, in other words, 
frovi that which is not God. This is plain to everyone's obser- 
vation ; nor did I ever hear any one, as I remember, venture to 
deny it. 

And as children grow up, and their natural powers enlarge, 
•o these propensities grow up, and strengthen, and become more 
active, and discover themselves plainer ; and from U\is root, 
tlus evil fountain, many bad things soon proceed. Observe 
children through all the days of childhood, and this nature may 
.be easily seen in them. ...they discover it in all their conduct in 
ten thousand instances ; and there it does and will remahi. — 
We may break them of many bad tricks which they learn, and 
bad habits which they contract, but we cannot chat^gc this prin- 
ciple of their nature. They are disposed to love themselves su- 
premely,seek their own ends ultimately, and delight in that which 
is not God wholly ; nor can we turn this bent of their hearts. 
We can, after a sort, instil good principles into them — learn them 
toreadandpray ; and, after a sort, to honor their parents, and 
love their neighbors : we can make them ci\ il, and sober, and 
himible, and modest, and religious, in a sort, but still ihc\r old 
nature remains in its full power : It is restrained, but not altered 
■Ai all ; yea, and after all, these dieir native disposiuons have 


the entire government of them ; their whole hearts are as much 
bent this way as ever: and these propensities govern them in 
their inward temper, and in all their conduct. They do all from 
self-love, and for self-ends, and are seeking happiness, notin God, 
but in something else. These things are plain to every impar- 
tial observer ; nor can they be denied by any. Thus we are all 
shapenin iniquitij^ and in sin arc we conceived: And toe are 
transgressors from the xvomb^ and go astray as soon as we are born. 

And if we leave children, and look into ourselves, we may 
easily observe that we are naturally of the same temper — incli- 
ned to love ourselves supremely, and do all from sell-love, and 
for self-ends, and seek for happiness, not in God, but in some- 
thing else. We can remember when and how we contracted 
many other vicious habits, and feel some inward power to get 
rid of them ; but these propensities we have always had, and 
they are natural, and our whole hearts are so in them, that it is 
not in us so much as sincerely to desire to be otherwise. It is 
true, we may, in a sort, desire and try to alter this our nature, 
from conciderations of duty, of heaven and hell ; but it is all 
hypocris)', for we still act merely from self-love, and for self- 
ends, as much as ever. We have naturally no disposition to 
desire to love God, only for self-ends ; — all men are conscious 
to themselves that this is true. 

Wc are naturally entirely wider the government of these dis- 
positions, in all things^ and under all circumstances : — In all 
THINGS — in all oujf civil and religious concenis. It is merely 
from self-love, and for self-ends, that natural men follow their 
worldly business, and endeavor to live peaceably with their 
neighbors ; and, in these things, they are seeking blessedness : 
And it is merely from self-love, and for self-ends, they do any 
thing in religion ; — cither they niean to be seen of men, or are 
moved from a slavish feur of hell and mercenary hope of heav- 
en, or from some other selfish consideration. — And, undkr all 
ciRCUMSTANCKS, We are naturally under the government ot 
these dispositions : In pro-s/n'rilij... .ihvn^ from an inclination to 
love ourstlves supremely, seek our own hiippiness idtimatcly. 


and (Iclij^ht in tliat which is not God wholly, it is our nature to 
rejoice and Ik; ^lad ; and, from the same nKlination, we are dis- 
posed to niouni, and murmur, and he discontented under cidver- 
sity. At the Rcd'Sca it was natural for the Israelites to sing 
praise — at the bitter waters it was as natural to murmur. When 
we arc plexsed, then we are glad — when we are crossed, then 
wc are sad ; l)Ut, naturally, we do not care how it g<je8 with 
Ciod's interest in the world....what becomes of liis great name, 
or whether his honor sinks or swims : nf),duMe is but here and 
there a Moses that cares an)' thing about Uiis ; but, iJ' they can 
have their own wills, and secure their own interests, they are 
content. AV'hile the spirit ofCiod lets sinners alone, and they 
live secure and unconcerned, then, from the aforesaid propensi- 
ties, they are after the world — one after one thing, and another 
after another ; and, although they may keep up a form of reli- 
gion, for fashion sake, yet, really, they care nothing about God 
and things eternal. When they come to be awakened to a con- 
cern for their souls, tliough they reform their lives, and take ve- 
ry difiercnt courses from what they used to do, yet still all is 
from the same principle, and for the same end. They have new 
lives, but the same nature : They do not really care for God 
or his glory, any more than they used to do, nor take any con- 
tent in him ; but are only after pardon of sin, and peace of con- 
science, which, according to their present sensations and appre- 
hensions, they think would make them happy. Sinners do not 
really seek for blessedness in God himself, i)ut in something 
they hope to receive from him : And hence, when awakened 
hinners come to git false comfort — think the}- are pardoned, and 
so have peace — or think that Christ loves them, and that they 
shall go to heaven, and so are T'l'-jd with joy.. all their joy 
results Irom self-love mcrclj', so all ihcv rejoice in is what they 
tliink they have received, and what they hope yet to receive ; 
bat they tlo not really care for God himself, (whose glory they 
nc\er saw), any more than thcv used to do — nor rejoice in him: 
and hence (ordinarily) having their consciences quieted, they 
soon go back to the world again for real comfort and' blessed- 


ness : Or if, after false comfort, they turn enthusiasts^ and get to 
blazing^ and wax hotter and hotter, and seem to be full of noth- 
Hig but love to God, and zeal for his glory, it is visions and 
dreams, revelations and impulses, a firm persuasion they are 
the peculiar favorites of heaven, and the ajiplause of their party, 
v.hich they live upon and take comfort in, and by which they 
are animated ; and all from self-love, and for self-ends : but, 
in deed and in truth, they neither know God, nor regard him 
nor his glory, nor live upon him, nor delight in him, any more 
tlian they used to do : and thus, in all things, and under all cir- 
cumstances, unregenerate men are governed by a disposition 
to love, themselves supremely, live to themselves ultimately, 
and delight in that rv/iir/i is ?iof God wholly : And whosoever 
is well acquainted with mankind may easily see that this is, in 
feet, the very case, and will naturally be led to make the same 
observation with the apostle Paul, in Phil. ii. "2^.... All seek their 
oxvn^ and not the things which are Jesus Christ'' s. 

And now this disposition, which is thus evidently natural to 
all mankind, is directly contrary to Cod^s holy lan< exceeding 
sinful, and is the root of all iricl-cdiiesff. First, it is diametrical- 
ly opposite to God's holy law : for this requires ustolweGod 
supremely, and seek his glory ultimately — in direct contrariety 
whereunto, we are naturally inclined to love ourselves supi-cme- 
Iv, and live to ourselves ultimatelv. Again, the law requires 
us to delight in God superlativel)-, and choose and live upon 
him as the only portion of our souls — in direct contrariety where- 
unto, we are naturallv inclined to place our whole hearts up- 
on other things, and live upon them, and take content in them. 
Finallv, the law requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves, 
and do as w^c would be done by — in direct contrariety where- 
unto, we are naturallv inclined to be inordinatelv selfish, and so 
not to do as we would be clone bv : And thus we are all natu- 
rallv gone oat of the rtv///, and, in the temper of our own minds, 
become corrupt, /'/'''!/■• ^'"''' an profit able, and there is none right- 
eous ; uo, not (?»<•.. ..Psalm xiv. — Horn. iii. 10 — 19. Wc have 
lost the image of GocL... we have lost a right temper of mind.... 


wc have lost a goveruinj^ sense of the jnoral fiin«*S9 of things.,., 
have no eyes to sec moijl bcaiity, or Iicarts to taste and rt'1i-\h 
the moral exccllentyoi spiriiiuil ami divine ihinjjs.... I 6br. ii. 14. 
llc'iwe, in God we can sec no form nor comeliness, nor in him, 
At all, delight ; yea, it is natural for it to seem to us :is if there 
was no God.... Pxdim xiv. 1. And now, as though in verv deed 
there were no (iod for us to be in subjection unto, we set up 
fe)r ourselves, to make our own interest our laat end, and to seek, 
blesstdncss, not in Go<l, but in somctiiing else ; and are natu- 
rally inclined, without any regard to (iod's law, to make our 
own wills our only rule ; and now, having cast off the govern- 
ment of God, and forsaken the fuuntain ofTn ing waters, we 
go every one his way, one to his farm, another to his merchan- 
dize, all serving divers lusts and plemures : So that it might 
jusdy be wondered at, how any among mankind should ever 
have it enter into their hearts, to imagine that we are not fallen 
creatures, universally depraved, when it is, so c\identlv,a plain 
matter of fact. I think it can be owing to nothing but men's 
ignorance of the law, in its spiritual nature, purity, strictness, 
4nd extent, and their not comparing themselves therewith : and 
iiideed St. Paul tells us that this is the case — Rom. vii. 8.... 
For xuithout the law sin was dead : For did men but righdy ap- 
prehend that God is such an one as the law speaks him to be, 
and that he requires us to be what really he does, thry could 
not possibly but see tlieir native contrariety to God and his holy 
law. The Israelites of old felt their contrariety to their proph- 
ets, and they hated them, and put them to death ; and the Phar- 
isees felt their contrariety to Christ and his aposdes, and hated 
them, and put them to death ; for they perceived what their 
proi)hets, and what Christ and his apostles, were driving at : but 
yet, all the while, they imagined they loved God, and loved his 
law, because they neither knew God, nor understood his liw : 
and even so it is at this day ; If an Arminian., or Pelagian, (for, 
after all their pretences, they are, by nature, just like the rest 
of mankind), did but verily believe God just sucii an one as 
the gotUy naaa, in fact, sees him to be, he would feel as jji-eat a 


contrariety to him, and enmity against him, as any Calvanist ever 
supposed there was in natural men. They frame a false image 
of God in their own fancies, to suit the ritiatcd taste of their 
corrupt hearts, and then cry, We are not enemies to God ; no^ Init 
it is natural for us to love him: when, all the while, their native 
aversion to Ciod will not so much as suft'er them to believe that 
there; is any .such Being as realhj he is. But, to proceed. 

The aforesaid disposition, and Ijcnt of heart, which is thus 
directly contrary to the law, is exceedingly sinful: For, while we 
love ourselves supremel}', and live to ourselves ultimately, we 
do really, in our hearts, and by our practice, prefer ourselves 
above God, as if we were more excellent and worthy : in which 
we cast infinite contempt on the Lord of gloi-v, in as much as 
all the nations are, in his sight, hut as a drop of the bucket, and 
small dust of the balance, and we, compared with him, are less 
than nothing, and vanity. He is of infinite majesty, greatness, 
glory, and excellency, and all heaven adore him in the most hum- 
ble prostrations J and yet we, wzfwi worms of the dust.. . yea, ii/Vr 
worms of the dust, that desen'e every moment to be spurned to 
hell, even 7ve esteem and love ourselves more than we do hnn, 
and are more concerned for our interest than for his honor ; 
yea, care not at all for him, or his honor, nor would ever so 
much as pretend to it, if not excitedthereto from the expectation 
of self-advantage : and that, even although we recei\e life and 
breath, and all things from him, i\nd his right to us is original, 
underived, perfect, and entire. Surely this is infinite wicked- 
ness ! and besides, in being and doing so, we affront his sacred 
authorit)', whereby, as Governor of the world, he commands 
us to lo\e him with all our hearts. And further, while we arc 
inclined to take our whole delight in tJiat which is not God.... 
to forsake him, the fountain of living waters, the ocean of all 
good, and seek comfort and content elsewhere ; we hereby pre- 
fer the world above God — prefer our wives and children.... oiu- 
houses, and lands, and pleasures, al)ove God — or, at best, we 
preler (an imaginar* ) In aven above (iod : to do cither of which, 
cjislA infinite coiilempl upon the Lord of glor\-....the delight of 


anj^els.. ..the joy of the heavenly world. Tlie Psalmist said, 
Whom luive I in lieavcn hut t/irt P Aiul t/inr is tiothin^ on earth 
I litfirc besuies thce....V?>ATi\\\\\'\\. 25 ; and well might he say 
so : but to Ix: inclined, when wc are scciur in sin, and not ter- 
rified witlihcll, to love and desire any thing upon earth more 
than (iod — and, when under terrors and leariiil expectations of 
wratli, to desire pardon, peace, ami (an iniai^inary) heaven, and 
any thing to make us happy, hut God himself, is surely infinite- 
1\ vile. We do hcrehy prefer that uhich is not God, above 
God himself, as if it was really of moi e worth , and so cast 
infitike contempt upon the ocean of blessedness, and fountain 
of all good. Andhcsides,inthi.s,aswellas the former partic ular, 
we go direcdy contrary to the express command of the great 
Ciovemor of the whole world. Finally, to be disposed to an 
inordinate (and so to a groundless) self-love, and to be swallow- 
ed up in seUish views and designs, instead of a tender love, and 
cordial benevolence to all our fellow-men, loving them as our- 
selves, is evidently contrar}' to all the reason and nature of 
things, and to the express command of God, which is infinitely 
binding ; and so this also is infinitely sinful : And thus, these, 
our native propensities, are directly contrary to the liolylawof 
God, and exceedingly sinful. 

But here it raay be enquired — " If a dis[x>sition to love c^ur- 
" selves supremely, live to ourselves ultimately, and to delight in 
** that w/z;t7i is not Gc(/ wholly, be so cxceedinglvsinrul, whence 
" is it that men's cansciences do not any more acaise and conJtinii 
*^'them therefor V To which the answer is plain and e;vsy ; for 
this is cvidcnth/ oxving to their intolcrabltj meanthotiglits oJGod. 
Mai. i. 6, 7, 8..../i son honorvth his father^ and a servant his 
master : Jf, t/ieri, Ibe afatlier^ xvliere is mine honor ? And if I 
be a master^xvhere is viy fear ? saith the Lord of hosts luito ijon, 
priests^ that despise my name : and t/e say^ irherein hcrve xve 
despised thy name ? Te offer poUuled bread upon mine altar ; 
(and so ye despise me :) and (vet) ye saif^ Wherein have xve pcl- 
lutcd thee ? (I answer) In that (in doing so) ye (practical!; ) 
say^ The table of the Lord is contemptible : (and so you treat iwe 


w^th contempt.) And. yet their consciences did not ismitc 
them, and therefore the Lord adds — And if ye offer the blind 
for satrijice^ is it not evil ? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is 
rt not evil P (or am I so mean and contemptible, that to do so 
ought not to be looked upon as an affront ? I appeal to the 
common sense of mankind,) Offer it now unto thy Governor^ 
will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person ? saith the Lord 
of hosts ; (and if your Governor will take it as an affront, much 
more may l^for I am a great king, saith the Lord of hosts ^ 
(ver. 14.) Here it is plain that it was their mean and contempt- 
uous thoughts of God which made them think it would do to 
turn him off any how, and with any thing : And just so it is in 
the case before us : men's thoughts of Cod are infinitely mean.... 
he is very contemptible in their sight ; and hence, although they 
love themselves, their own honor and interest, above the Lord 
and his glory, and prefer other things, and take more delight in 
that which is not God, than in God himself, yet they say — 
" Wherein do we despise the Lord, affront his majesty, or cast 
" contempt upon him ? VVe pray in secret and in our families.... 
*' we go to meeting and to sacrament, aild help to support the 
" gospel ; and is not all this to honor the Lord ? And wherein 
" do we despise him ?"— Just as if going into your closet twice 
a day, to quiet your conscience, and 3a)'iiig over the old praver, 
by rote, in your family, that }ou have repeated morning and 
evening ever since you kept house ; and, in a customary way, 
going to meeting and to sacrament, and paying your minister's 
rate, (and, it may be, not without grudging,) — just as if /A/.? was 
an honoring of God, when, at heart, you do not love him one jot, 
nor care for his honor and interest at all, nor would do any thing 
in religion but for the influence of education and common cus- 
tom, or from legal tears and mcrcenaiy hopes, or merely from 
some other selfish consideration : Yea, just as if tliis was an 
honoring of God, when, all the time, you cast such infinite con- 
tempt upon him in your heart, as to give your heart to another 
— «"to that which Ls nut (iod — to yourself, antl to the world ! Let 
a woman treat her hasband so, will he be pleased with it, and 


will he RCCtpi htr perHon ? If she do<rs not love her husband at 
all, or delight in his person, or care forhisiiutrcst — iishcJovcs 
another man....hasasc|)arate inltrcst of her own, and does noth- 
ing for her husband but to serve her own views, will he now 
think she is a ^-ooihuiff^ because morninj;, noon, and ni^jht, she 
prepares his food, Uiough she dcKs it carelessly, the victuals al- 
wa} 8 cold and poorly dressed, hardly fit to eat. ...and he knows 
it is uU fi-omwant of love.? Anil besides, she thinks she does a 
^rtY//f/t'<//forhim, and expects her/w/, like a hired maid ! — and 
she savs to her husband, '^ Wlicreiu do I despise you? Am 
" not I always doing for you r" And she does not feel herself 
to blame, because her husband looks so mean and contemptible 
in her eyes ; and she cares so li.tle for him, that any thing seems 
good enough for him, while, all the time, her adulterous heart is 
doating on her lovers. " You do not love me," says her hus- 
b;md, *■' but other men have your heart, and \ ou are more a wife 
" to them than to me :" But says she, " I cannot love you, and 
"• I cannot but love others ;" And now she seems to herself not 
to blame : So, a wicked world have such mean thoughts of God, 
tliat they cannot love him at all, and have such high thoughts 
of themselves, that they cannot but love themselves supremely : 
they have such mean thouglits of God that they cannot delight 
in him at all ; but they see a glory in other things, and so in them 
they cannot but dehght wholly : And because they are habit- 
ually insensible of God's infinite glory, hence they are habitual- 
ly insensible of the exceeding sinfulness of these native propen- 
sities of their hearts : So that we see that mean, contemptuous 
thoughts of God are the ver)- foundation of the peace, and quiet, 
and security of men, in a mere form of religion. If they did 
but see who t/ie LorcZ/.y, they could not but judge themselves and 
all their duties to be infinitely odious in his sight. Psalrn 1. 
21, 22....These things hast thou done, and I kept silenoe — thou 
thoughtest J was altogether such an one as thyself ; but I will re-' 
prove thecy and set them in order before thine eyes.. ..Now consider 
this, ye that forget God. Men have such mean thoughts of God, 
and so litde regard him, that they are naturally inclined to for' 


get diat there is a God, and to feel and act as if there were 
none. Ilenct ( Aa/wj xiv. 1 .) — Thefooiaaith in his hearty there 
is no God; i. e. he is inclined to feel and act as if there wtts 
none ; and, therefore, it is added in the next words — Cornipt 
are they. So, the children of Eli, who treated the worship of 
God with great contempt, are said t^ despise the Lord^ and kick 
at his sacrifice ; and yet their consciences did not smite them : 
and the ground of all was their mean, contemptuous thoughts of 
God. I. Sam. ii. 12, 29, 30... .The sons of Eli rvere sofis ofBe- 
lialj they knerv not the Lord. And thus we see that our native 
disjxjsition to love ourselves supremely, live to ourselves ulti- 
mately, and delight wholly in that which is not God, is (wheth- 
er we are sensible of it, or not,) directly contrary to God's holy 
law, and exceedingly sinful. And I add, 

This native bent of our hearts is the rsot ofallsin^ (the posi' 
live root, I mean, in opposition to a mere privative cause) of all 
our inward corruptions and vicious practices. ...both of those 
which are contrary to the first and to the second table of the 
law — of those which more immediately affront God, and of those 
which more especially respect our neighbor. 

From this root arises all our evil carriage torvards the Lord of 
glory. This is the root of a spirit of seif-suprvt)iacy, whereby 
we, in our hearts, exalt ourselves and our wills above the Lord 
and his will, and refuse to be controuled by him, or be in sub- 
jection unto him. Jehovah assumes the character of most high 
God, supreme L.ovd and sovereign Governor of the whole 
world, and commands all the earth to acknowledge and obey 
him as such ; but v/e ;u-e all natuiuUy inclined, Pharaoh-like, to 
say, Who is tlie Lord^ that xve should obey him ? we know net 
the Lord, nor -will we do his will : And hence mankind, all the 
world over, break God's law, ever)' day, Ijcfcjrc his face ; as if 
they despised his authority in their hearts. And when he 
crosses them in his providences, they, as though it was not his 
right to govern the world, quarrel with him, because they can- 
not have their oxvn wiils, and go in their own rvays' : This was 
always the way of the children of Israel, those forty years in 


the wilderness, whose whole conduct exemplifies our nature to 
the life, and in winch glass we may behold our lares, and know 
what manner of persons we naturally arc. INlcn love ihcmsclvcs 
ahovc God, and do not like his law, and hence are inclined to 
set up their wills alxjve and against his ; and if they can^ they 
win, have their wills, and go in their ways, for all him ; and if 
they cannot^ they will quarrel with him : And hence the apos- 
tle says. The carnalmind is enmity afrainst God — /.? not subject to 
his UnVy ncit/ur iuJeeJ Can Ar....Rom. viii. 7. 

And, from this root, arises a spirit of self-.sujficimcij and ni' 
dtfntidence^ whereby we are lilted up in our own hearts, and hate 
to be beholden to God ; and, having different interests and ends 
from him, naturally think it not safe, and so, upon the whole, 
not liking to trust in him, choose to trust in ourselves, or any 
thing, rather tljan him. We have a better thought of ourselves 
than of God, as knowing we are disposed to be true to our own 
interests and ends, and therefore had rather trust in ourselves 
tlian in him ; and besides, we nuturall)' hate to come upon our 
knees to him for every thing : Hence, that in Jer. ii. 31. is the 
native language of our hearts — W^e are lords^ we will come no 
more unto tlue. ^V'e love to have the staff in our own hands, 
lor then we can do as we will ; and hate to lie at God's^ercy, 
ft)r then we must be at his control ; yea, wc had rather trust in 
any thing than in God, he being, of all tilings, most contrary to 
us : And hence, the Israelites, in their distress, would one while 
make a covenant with Assyria, and then lean upon Egypt ; yea, 
and rob the treasures of the temple to hire their aid, rather than 
be beholden to God : Yen, they would make them Gods ofsil- 
ver and gold... .of wood and stone, and then trust in such King 
vanities, ratherthan in the Lord Jehovah : Andas face answers 
t-oface in the water ^ so does the heart ofmanlo man. ...Prov. xxvii. 
19. This is our very nature. 

Again, from the same root arises a disposition t-o depart from 
the Lord ; for other things appe;u- more glorious, and excellent, 
and soul-satisfying thiui God — wherefore the hearts of the chil- 
dren of men sccrcdy loathe the Lord, and hanker after otlier 


things, and so go away from God to them. Jobxxi. 12, 14.... 

They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the or- 
gan : Therefore they say unto God, Depart from lis, for ive de- 
sire not the knoxvledge of thy -ways. — Mai. iii. 14, 15....It is in 
vain to serve God : andivhat profit is it thntive have kept his or- 
dinance, and that ivc have lualked moitrnfidly before the Jj)rd of 
hosts ? We call the proud happy. Meditation and prayer are a 
burden to men ; they had rather be almost any where than in 
their closets, because they secretly loatlie the Lord : but in other 
things they find comfort. in his farm, and another 'in. his 
merchandize... .the young man in his frolics, and with his mer- 
ry companions.... the old man in his wife, and children, and cat- 
tle, and swine, and house, and lauds. ...the rich man in his riches 
....the ambitious man in his honors....ihe scholar in his books.... 
the man of contemplation in his nice speculations ; and, in any 
thing, men can take more comfort than in God himself. That 
which angels and saints in heaven, and believers on earth, prize 
above all things, men have naturally the least account of: Psal. 
Ixxiii. ^5. ...Whom have I in-heaven but thee ? and there is noth- 
ing on earth I desire bef;ides thee. — Jer. ii. 5, 11, 12, 13... .Thiis- 
saith the Lord^ What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that 
they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity , and be- 
come vain ? Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet n» 
gods ? But my people have changed their glory for that which 
doth not pro ft : Be astonished, ye heavens, at this. They have 
forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out 
cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. 

And, from the whole, we may see there is the greatest con- 
trariety between the nature of God and the nature of the sinner: 
and hence God hates sinners {Hab. i. 1 3.) — and sinners hate him 
(^Rom. viii. 7.) — and when sinners come to die, and go into the 
eternal world, thev will feel then that tht-y hate him, though 
their nature then will be just the same as it is 71010 ; and they 
will then know tliat the great reason they did noxfcel thtir ha- 
tred of him in this world, was because they did not think nor 
wou'd believe that he was iwt/i an one. 


And hence wc may see whence it is that we are so averse to 
right apprehensions of ( »o<l, and whence it is that our insensi- 
bihtv of his glory, in being what he is, is so invinci!)le, viz, be- 
cause he is, in his very nature, in sucli perfect contrariety to us, 
and we to him ; for to account that inlinitely glorious in being 
what it is, which is of a nature perfectly contrary' to us, is as un- 
natural as to account ourselves infmitcly hateful in being what 
Ave arc ; for that necessarily implies this : So far, therefore, as 
sinners love themselves for being what they are, so far do they 
hate God for being what he is ; and so far as they hate God for 
feeing what he is, so far their insensibility of his infinite glory, 
in beingjust such an one, is invincible : And now, since men, 
naturally, perfectly love themselves for being what they are, 
and, consequently, perfectly hate God for being what he is — 
hence, their m'mds are, naturally, perfectly prejudiced against 
the true knowledge of God, and perfectly averse from, and insus- 
ceptible of a sense of his infinite glory in beingjust what he is : 
And hence it is, that neither God's word nor works, nor any 
thing but his almighty spirit, can make men, in their hearts, both 
really give into it that God is just such an one as he is, and in- 
finitely glorioas in being such. The heavens may declare the 
glory of tiie Lord, and make the invisible tilings of God clear*- 
Xy to be seen ; and the scriptures and ministers maj' proclaim 
his greatness and glory, and the honor of his majesty ; out siiii- 
«ers, in seeing, will not see, and, in hearing, will not hear and 
understand, for they do not like to have God in their knowl- 
edge : They hate die light, and love darkness ; they hate to 
ihink that God should be such an one.. ..can see no glory in him 
jn being such.. ..secreUy wish he was another kind of a being..,, 
dread to think that he is what he is, and will not, if they can help 
\\....,yolin iii. 19, 20 — Rom. i. 28 — Jolm viii. 43, 47. That 
God should love himself more than he does his sinful creatures, 
and valu*^ his own honor and interest more than he does our 
happiness, and look upon it as an infinite aJTront that we aienot 
exacdy of the same mind, and judge us worthy of eternal dam- 
Ration dierefor, and, as high Governor of the world, make such 



a law, and bind us to it, to do so — how can this suit a proud re- 
bel, that only loves himself and his o\m interest, and cares not 
for God at all ? How can a carnal, selfish heart delight in such 
a God, and accounthim infinitely glorious in being such ? How 
can he rejoicfe to hear that he sits King forever, and does all 
things according to the counsel of his own will, aiming ultimate- 
ly at his own glory ? Or how can he imagine that such a con- 
duct, so directly cross to his temper, is infinitely right and be- 
coming, glorious and excellent? The temper, the ^or/ temper 
of sinners' hearts, is that which renders their insensibility of 
God's glor}-, in being what he is, so invincible. He does not 
suit them — he does not look upon things as they do— he is not 
disposed, nor does he act as they would have him, but all di- 
rectly contrary.. contrary as light and darkness — as sin and 
holiness — as heaven and hell : Therefore, the carnal mindis 
€7imity against God. But, to return. 

From this same root — this disposition to love ourselves su- 
premely, live to ourselves ultimately, and delight in that which 
is not God wholly, proceeds all our evil carriage towards our 
neighbor. Pride, selfishness, and worldliness, lay the founda- 
tion for all that cheating, lying, backbiting, quarrelling, there is 
among neighbors — and for all the feuds and bloody wars there 
ever have been among all the nations of the earth, from the begin- 
ning of the world : And pride, selfishness, and worldliness, 
together with that enmity against God and true religion, which 
is naturally concomitant, lay the foundation for all those bloody 
persecutions which have been, in the several ages of the world, 
against the church and people of (jod. If men were not proud 
nor selfish, they would have no inclination to injure theirneigh- 
bors, in name or estate : If they took tlieir supreme dehght in 
God, as the portion of their souls, they would not have any of 
their little petty idols to quarrel and contend about : If they 
loved their neighbors as themselves, there would never more 
be any thing like persecution ; and all injuries and abuses would 
cease from the earth : So that, to rontlude, as a disposition to 
love God with all our hearts, and our neighbors as ourselves. 


Is an habitual conformity to the whole law, and lays a solid 
foundation for a right carriage towards (iod aiulour neighbor, 
ill all ibiugb — so adii|)o.siii(jn to love oursclws suprcr.iclv, li\e 
to ourselves ultimately, and delight in thai which is not God 
wholly, is an habitual contiaricty to the whole law, and lays a 
sad ibuudation for all evil carriage towards C»odand our Icllow- 
lucn. And, as I said, this disposition is natural to us, and wc 
art- naturally entirely under the government of it : and so tiie 
Svcd and root of all sin is in us, even in the native temper of 
our iaarts : I'hat ivhicli is born oftliejlesh^ isjic^li. 

Ouj. But tf mcmiindneit/icr love God nor tlicirnciglibora xvith 
a genuine hve^ such as the law requires^ but naturally have^ and 
are entirely under the government of^ a spirit of contrariety to 
the whole laxv^ xvhaice is it that all men do not blasphane God, and 
do all the mischief they can^ and, inpractice, as well as in nature, 
be as bad as devils P 

Ans. Because of die rf*f;u/;2^y, which God, for wise ends 
and purposes, is pleased to lay upon them, whereby their nature 
is, indeed, not at all altered, but onl}', in a measure, kept from 
breaking out, as othenvise it would do. And these restraints, 
in orcUnar)-, are such as arise from these things : — (1.) From 
their animal constitution ; whereby many are inclined to be 
tender-hearted, compassionate, and kind, wilhoutany regard to 
God or djLity, from a sort of natural instinct, much of the same 
nature, to all appearance, as is to be foimd in many in the bru- 
tal world. (2.) Yvovci natural affection ; whereby, partly from 
animal nature, and partly from self-love, and from being brought 
up togedier, relatives have a certain fondness for one another, 
and so are disposed to be kind to one another, and that without 
any regard to God or duty ; much as it is with many in the 
bratiU world. (3.) Vvom a. good education; whereby many arc 
influenced to be civil in their behavior, honest in their dealings, 
kind to the poor, and to pray in their families, and join with 
the church, ^c. though destitute of grace in their hearts. (4.) 
Troxmcorld/y considerations ; whereby, from self-love, in order 
to avoid punishment from men, or from fearof disjptice ajid. 


reproach, or to get the good-will of others, or promote-some 
worldly interest, men are influenced, sometimes, to carry them- 
selves, externally, very well. (5.) From religious considera- 
tions ; whereby, from self-love, the fear of hell, and the hope of 
heaven, many are influenced to do much in religion. (6.) 
Want oi speculative knowledge of God. ...ignorance of his reso- 
lution to punish sin, and of his anger against them, is also an 
occasion of their not blaspheming his name ; as they will do, 
as soon as ever they come into eternitv, and see how things re- 
ally are ; though then their nature will be exactly the same that 
it is now. God gives rain and fruitful seasons, and fills the 
hearts of all with food and gladness ; he makes his sun rise, and 
ruin fall upon the evil and unthankful, and offers salvation in 
case they repent and believe ; whence men are ready to think 
that God loves them, and this restiains them. These, and such- 
like things, restr^n men's corruptions ; but for which, they 
would be as bad in this world as they will be in the next, when 
these restraints come to betaken off. 

To what has been said, may also be added, that God, by 
these three methods, does much to restrain many : — (1.) By 
his providence ; whereby he many times brings remarkable 
judgments upon men for their sins ; and remarkably prospers 
men, as to the things of this world, who arc true to their word, 
and honest in their dealings : and hereby men are afraid to be 
and do as bad as otherwise they would, lest some judgment 
should come upon them ; and others are influenced to be hon- 
est, and to carry themselves, externally, well, in hopes of a 
worldly blessing. (2.) By his word — his written word, and 
his word preached ; whereby men are made more sensible that 
there is a heaven and a hell ; and so are the more restrained 
and kept in awe. (3.) By his spirit ; whereby he does much 
to make many a man sensible of the evil of sin, the drcadful- 
ness of damnation, and the glory of iieaven, whom he never 
sanctifies: whereby they are not only restrained from vicious 
practices, but their corruptions also are greatly stunned, and 
they made zealous promoters of religion.. ..(//t*^. vi. 4.) And 


thus the supreme Gqvemor of the world restrains men's corrup- 
tions, aiul muintains some degree of order among his rebellious 

Butyet, all these restraints notwiUistanding, there is, and al. 
ways has been, abundance of wickedness committed in this 
apostate world. They have murdered God's servants, tlie pro- 
phets, whom the Lord has sent unto them, rising early and send- 
ing ; and they have killed his Son, and his apostles, and shed 
die blood of thousands and millions of his saints. So great has 
been their aversion to God ! and so great their cruelty ! And 
by the many wars there liavc been among the nations, from the 
beginning, the whole earth has been filled with blood. And 
by cheating, and lying, and backbiting, and contention, &c. 
hatfful and hating one another^ innumerable injuries have been 
done to, and unspeakable miseries brought upon, one another. 
And as soon as ever mankind have their restraints tiiken off at 
death, without having any sin infused into their nature, they v.ill 
appear to be what they are — they will feel and act like very devils. 

But, in the mean while, by means of these restraints, manv 
deceive themselves ; for our corruptions being thus capable of 
being restrained, ;md, as it were, stunned, and our lives of be- 
ing pretty well regulated, to appearance, while our nature re- 
mains die same, and we feeling ourselves able to do considera- 
ble towards this — hence many are deceived, and take this to be 
real religion, and think they did, and that others may convert 
themselves, with but comparatively little assistance from God's 
spirit : And truly so they might, if this was true religion, and 
conversion consisted in thus reforming our lives, and restrain- 
ing our corruptions : But, in conversion, our veiy nature must 
be changed, (II Cor. v. IT.) — the native bent of our hearts must 
be turned, {Ezek. xxk\\. 26.) ; and from this we are naturally 
wholly averse : And hence arises the absolute necessity of a su- 
pernatural, irresistible grace, in order to our conversion ; — of 
which more afterwards. But to return, 

From what has been said, we see that we are natively dispo- 
sed to love ourselves 8upreinel}' live to ourselves ultimate- 


ly, and delight in that which is not God, wholly ; and tliat this 
disposition, by which we arc, naturally, entirely governed, in 
all things, and under all circumstances, is in direct contrariety 
to the holy law of God, and is exceedingly sinful, and is the root 
of all sin.. ..of all our evil carriage towards God and man, in 
heart and life : So that, as to have a disposition to love God 
withall our hearts, and our neighbor as ourselves, is a radical 
conformity to the whole law — so this conaary disposition is a 
radical contrariety to the whole law : Well, therefore, may the 
holy scriptures speak of sinners as being dead in shi, and at ai- 
mity against God^ and, by nature^ children ofwratlu, and repre- 
sent them so frequently as being enemies to God^ {Eph. ii. 1, 
3 — Rom.\'\n, 7, and v. 10 — II. Cor. v. 18 — 20.) since, by 
comparing ourselves with the holy law of God, we are found to 
be, infact^ natively so, in the temper of our minds : And it will 
be forever in vain for mankind to plead not guilty^ since the law 
of God is what it is^ and xve are xuhat we are ; for, by the law, 
ky which is the knoxvledge of sin^vft evidently stand condemned. 

Here it may be objected^ " That we are, natively, no other- 
" wise than God makes us ; and if, therefore, we are natively 
" sinful, God made us so ; and, by consequence, is the author 
*' ojsin^"* But this objection has been already obviated ; for, as 
has been observed, God only creates the naked essence of our 
souls.. ..our natural faculties. ...a power to think, and will, and to 
love, and hate ; and this evil bent of our hearts is not of his ma- 
kings but is the spontaneous propensity of our own wills ; for 
we, being born devoid of the divine image, ignorant of God, 
and insensible of his glory, do, o{ our own accord^ turn to our- 
selves, and the things of time and sense, and to any thing that 
suits a graceless heart, and there all our afiVctions centre ; from 
whence we natively become averse to God, and to all that which 
is spiritually good, and inclined to all sin : So that the positive 
corruption of our nature is not any thing created by God, but 
arises merely from a privative cause. 

Here it will be o/yVt^fr/ again, " Tiiat it is not consistent with 
*' the divine pt rfections to bring mankind intt) tlic world under 


♦' such sad and unhappy circumstances." — Hut -who art thou, 
man, tfutt replJest against God? Shall the thing formed say ^into 
him that formed it, Whtj hast thou formed me thus ? It is bias - 
])hemmis to sav, that it is not consistent with the divine perfec- 
tions to do what God, in fact, docs. It is a plain matter of 
fact, that wc are born into the world devoid of die divine image, 
ignorant of God, insensible of his infinite glor\' : And it is a 
plain matter offuct, ih^d, in consequence hereof, we are natively 
disposed to love ourselves supremely, live to ourselves ultimate- 
ly, and delight in that which is not God, whollv : And it is 
plain, to a demonstration, that this temper is in direct contrari- 
ety to God's holy law. exceedingly sinful, and is the root 
of all wickedness. — A^ori\ to sav it is not consistent with the di- 
vine perfections Uiat mankind should be brought into the world, 
as, IN FACT, they are, is wickedly to fly in the face of our al- 
mighty Creator, and expressly charge him with unrighteous- 
ness ; which, surelv, docs not become us. If we cannot see 
into this dispensation of divine providence, yet we ought to re- 
member, that God is hohj in all his ways, and righteous in all 
his ivorks, and that the judge of all the earth always does right. 
I do not mean tliat things are therefore right, merely because 
God does them ; for if they were not right to be done, antece- 
dently to his doing of them, he would not, he coidd not do them : 
But I mean, that when it is a plain matter of fact that (lod docs 
such a thing, we may thence conclude that it is most certainly 
right for him to do so, although we cannot understand how it is. 
We ought to remember that he is infinite in his understanding, 
and, at one comprehensive vieiv, beholds all thing-s, and so can- 
not but know wiiat is right, and what is wrong, in all cases ; and 
his judgment is unbiassed. ...the rectitude of his nature is per- 
fect : he cannot, therefore, but do right alwavs, and, in all in- 
stances, govern the world in righteousness. But our minds are 
narrow and contracted — we are but of yesterday, and know noth- 
ing ; and besides, our judgments are biassed through our mean 
thoughts of God, and high thoughts of ourselves ; and hence 
we may be easily mistaken : Especially, in diis case, cur minds 


are sadly biassed, and it is almost impossible for us to consider 
the matter with a spirit of disinterested impartiality : And these 
considerations ought to check our rising thoughts, and make us 
lie down in the dust before the great, and righteous, and good 
Governor of the world, with humble silence, even although we 
jcannot understand his ways : And I believe that a humble dis- 
position of lieart would laj' an effectual foundation for us to 
come to be satisfied in this matter — it being our mean thoughts 
of God, and high thoughts of ourselves, which blinds our minds 
that we cannot see, and disposes us to quarrel with our Creator, 
and find fault with the Ruler and disposer of the world. It is 
true, that the holy scriptures consider mankind as being what 
they are, and say but litde about the way in which they came to 
be in such a condition : And there is good reason for it ; for 
it is of infinitely greater importance that we should know what 
a condition we are in, than how we came into it : And it is a 
foolish thing for us, and contrary to common sense, to lay the 
blame any where but upon ours'-lves, since we are voluntarily 
such as we are, and really love to be what we are — do not sin- 
cerely desire to be otherwise, but are utterly averse from it. — 
But yt;t the holy scriptures say so much about the way of our 
coming into our pi"esent condition, as might fully satisfy our 
minds, were not our judgments biassed ; for from them wc 
learn, that vian xvas made upright. ...tvas created in God\s image^ 
and, by rebelling against hin Maker ^ brought a curse upon himself 
and all his race... .Gcw. i. 27 — Eccle. viL. 29 — Rom. v. 12 — 19. 
There we read, that by one man^ sin entered into the world — 
that by one man's disobedience^ many zvere made sinners — that 
by the offence of one., judgment came upon all men to condemna- 
tion, Adam was created in the image of God — it was connatu- 
ral to him to love God with all his hcait, and this would have 
been our case, had he not rebelled against God ; but now we 
are born devoid of the divine image — have no heart for God — 
arc transgixssoj's from the womb..../;// nature children ofivrath. 

And if any should enquire, *' But can it be right that Ad- 
"ara's sin should have any induence upon us ?" 

liU'liNGClSU^U iXUJM. ALL CuLM cKi klTS. 175 

I tmswer — It is a plain case tlxut it actually has, and we may 
depend upon it that the J iidge of ;dl tlie earth ahvays docs right. 
Ami htbides, why ini)w;ht not God make Adam our public head 
and rcprc3enlati\ c, to act in our room, as he has since, for our 
recovery, made his own Son our puhlic head and representative ? 
....kom. V. VZ — 2\. He had as much r/irlit, fioiL'cr^imd (nilhor- 
itij for one as for the other : and was not Adam hs likelv to 
reniuiu obedient as any ol lus Should have been, and, in some 
respects, more likely? His natural powei^s were ripe; he stood 
not only for himself, but for all his race ; — a whole world lay at 
•stake : And if he had kept the covenant of his God, and se- 
cured ha])plness U> all his race, should we not forever have 
blessed God for so good a constitution ? Never once should 
we have questioned God's right and authority to make him our 
public head and representative, or have thought that it did not 
become his wisdom and goodness to trust our all in his hands. 
And if we should dius have approved this constitution, had 
Adam never sinned, why might we not as justly approve 
it now, if we would be but disinterestedly impartial ? It is the 
same, in itself, now, diat it would have been Mt'«.... every way 
as holy, just, and good. — '' Oh, but for God to damn a whole 
world for one sin !" But stay — does not this arise from mean 
thoughts of God, and high thoughts of yourself ? O, think who 
the Lord is ! and what it is for a wonn to rise in lebellion 
against him ! and how he treated whole thousands of glorious 
laigeh for theii* first sin ! and then, think how God drowned 
the old xvorld. ...hwrvii Sodotn. ...:\nd of the dreadful things he in* 
tends to do to the impenitent at the day of judgment ! and 
learn, and believe, that sin is an infinitely ^-cater evil than we 
nalurall) imagine. 

But I must return to my subject, for it is not my present busi- 
ness so raudi to show how wc came into this condttioUy as plain- 
ly to point out what that condition is, which.we arc actually in. 
As to tli^, the whole scriptures are very plain ; but especially 
the i<ru<, bij ruhi' h is the knowledge (>/'s/;j, clearly discovers what 
»<5ur case is, and, bcyoncWispute, proves that all are under sin. 


And having already, by comparing ourselves with the law, 
found out what our nature is, I proceed to niakc some further 
observations, in which I design greater brevity. 

4. From what has been said, we may learn that the very best 
religious pcrforjnanccs of all imregenerate men are, complexly 
considered, si7iful, and so^ odious in the sight of God. They 
may do many things materiallij good^ but the principle, end^ and 
manner of them are such, as that, complexly considered^ what 
they do is sin in the sight of God : For sin is a transgression 
of the law. But, 

(1.) The law requires all mankind to do everj- duty out of 
love to God, and for his glory : But all unregenerate persons, 
directly contrary to law, do every duty merely out of love to 
themselves, and for self-ends ; and so, are guilty of rebelliofi. 

(2.) The law requires all mankind to do every duty out of 
love to God, and for his glory : But all unregenerate persons 
do every duty merely out of love to themselves, and for self- 
ends ; whereby they prefer themselves^ and their interest, above 
God and his glory ; and so, are guilty of spiritual idolatry, 

(3.) The law requires all mankind to do every duty from love 
to God, and for his glory : But all unregenerate persons do ev- 
ery duty merely from self-love, and for self-ends ; and yet hijp- 
ocritically pretend to (iod, that they love and obey him ; and so, 
are guilty of mocking God. 

(4.) The law supposes that God infinitely deserves to be 
loved with all our hearts, and obeyed in every thing, and that 
our neighbor deserves to be loved as ourselves ; and that, there- 
fore, if we should yield perfect obedience in all things, \ct wc 
should deserve no thanks : But all unregenerate persons make 
much of their duties, though such miserable, poor things ; and 
so, affront God to his very face. 

Upon thesey^?/;- accounts, tiicir very best performances are 
done in a manner directly contrary to the law of God, and so are 
sinful, and therefore odious in the sight of God : (^Prov. xv. 8, 
and xxi. 27 — J^om. viii. 8 — Psalm Ixxxviii. "(i, 37.) As is the 
tree, so is the fruit — as is the fountain, so arc tlie streams } and 


as is the man, so arq his doings, in the sight of God, who looks 
at the heart, (.!/<//. xii. 33, 34, 35,) aiul jiidms not according 
to appearand-, but judges righteous judgnunt ; and with \vhoi» 
many things, that are highly esteemed among men, are at>omi- 

Antl if their best religious performance*, arc thus odious in 
tlie sight of Ciod, it is certain that they cannot possii)ly, in die 
nature of things, have the least tentlency to make amends for 
their past sins, or recommend duin to the divine favor ; but 
rather tend to provoke God still more : So that it is iiot of him 
that xvillsy nor of him that rims, but of God that shows mercij. 
Nor is there the least hope in the sinner's case, but what arises 
from the sovereign mercy of God ; whereby he can /i(/t'<*w/f re/ 
on whom he zcili have mercy , and have compassion on ivhom he 
rviil /uwe compassion. ...Horn. 'i\. 15, 18. 

True, some, being ignorant of the law, and of our entire 
contrariety to it, have fancied a goodness in Uie sinner's duties ; 
and hence have persuaded themselves that there are promises 
of special grace made to them : — Not that there are any prom- 
ises in scripture, of that nature ; for the scripture cveiy where 
considers us as being, while unregenerate, dead in sin....M\A\. 
ii. 1— Enemies to God.,..Iiom.y, 10 — II. Cor. v. 17 — 20 — 
Col. i. 21 — yea^enmitij against him... .}iom. viii. 7 — and so 
far from anv true and acceptable olicdicnce to C'od, as that we 
are not y nor can be subject to the law, and so cannot pkar.e Gcd 
...,Rom. viii. 7, 8 — and ever)' where represents such us Ixing 
under the wrath of God. ...the curse of the l(ni\ and a present 
condemmition..,.]ohn iii. 18, 36 — Rom. i. 18 — Gal. iii. 10: 
But the real ground of their opinion is, their ignorance of the 
sinner's sinful, guilty circumstimces,and their fond conceit that 
there is some real goodness in what the sinner does : both which 
iU"e owing to their ignorance of the law,* imd of the nature of 

• It is manifest that this notion o£ the promises, of which Pclagius was 
the author, ami wiiich was ronden>m'tl for heres\ aoove 1300 years a^o, 
did, with him, and does, with bis followers, take its ribc, originally, from 
tiieir ignorance of the nature and meaning of tl'.e moral law. But yet sonie 
good men may have been inadvertently led into this error by the lorce of 


true holiness.... /?cw. vii. 8, 9 — Rom. x. 3. All will own, that 
if sinners' duties are such as I have represented, it is absurd, 
and even inconsistent with the divine perfections, that promises 
of special grace should be made to them. 

It is true they refer to Mat. xxv. 29.... To him that hath^ shall 
be given. But that text evidently speaks of the final rewards 
which shall be given to the godly at die day of judgment ; when 
all the unrcgenerate shall, with the slothful servant, be cast into 
outer darkness. They quote also Mat. vii. 7... .Ask and you 
shall receive^ &c. But the condition of this promise was never 
yet performed by an unregencr.ate sinner : For this asking is 
meant right asking ; for those who ask amiss, receive nothing 
....James \\'. 3. Right asking of grace, supposes right desires 
of it ; but the unregenerate are, in the habitual temper of their 
hearts, directly contraiy to grace and all spiritual good, and en- 
tirely so, as has been proved : But to have genuine desires al- 
ter a thing, and a perfect contrariety to it, in the whole heart, at 
the same time, is an express contradiction. The reason that 
sinners many times think that the)' love holiness, and desire 
heartily and sincerely to be made holy, is, that they, being ig- 
norant of the nature of true holiness, have framed n false image 
of it in their own fancies. Did they but distinctly know the 
very thing itself their native contrariety to it could no longer be 
h\d.... Rom. vii. 8, 9. So the Pharisees thought they loved God, 
and loved his laAV ; although, at die same time, they perfectly 
hated the Son of God, who was the express image of his Father, 
and came into the world to do honor to his Father's law. 'J'hr 
had wrong notions of God, and of his law. 

Ob J. But this tends to drive sinners to despair. 

Ans. Only to despair of being saved by their own righteous- 
ness, which thev must be driven to, or they will ncvc^r submit to be 
saved by free grace through Jesus Christ. ../^&/». vii. 3,9,andx. 3. 

education. I believe men's hcnrts may lic sometimes better than tV.cii 
heads : but when a f;ihe schenif of rcli^^ion does j)nfccily suit a man's 
heart, and express the temper nl his mind, tlicn, no doiii»t, he is jjraccless 
....II. yti/.f;i ix. and yo/.'n viii. 47. The above notion of ihc promises per- 
fectly buits a iicll°-righteoi;b heart. 


Ob J. liut^ iftliese thiu^M be trtte^ there is not amy motive to 
excite a poor sinner to reform^ or pra'j, or rcatl^ or Jo any tiling. 

Ans. By which it is plain, that a sinner carts not a jot lor 
Ciod, and will not go one step in religion, only Tor what he can 
get : and if such a sinner had ever so many motives, he Avou'd 
only serve himself, but not scne Ciod at all. And what ei^ 
couragemcnt tan God, consistent wiUi his honor, give to such 
uii one, since he merits hell every moment, even by his best du- 
ties, but onlv that which St. Peter gave to Simon Magus ? At is 
viii. 22....A'c/)i-nt^(inJjjriiif to Goi/,/fvy.KAD\-ysrvKF.t/ie wick- 
edness of thy heart may beforgiven thee. 

On J. But this ivay of reasoning xvill make sinners leave off 
scr/king ami strivings ami sit doron discouraged. 

Ans. Not if sirwicrs arc but cfttxtually awakened to see how 
tlreadful damnation is ; for a bare w/jo can <f // ? will make such 
resolve to run, and fight, antl strive, andbeg, imd pray, till ihcy 
die ; and if they perish, to perish at God's foot : And as for 
others, all their courage arises from their not seeing w hat wretch- 
ed, miserable, sinful, guilty creatures they are ; and so must 
be tlashed to pieces, sooner or later, in this world or the next, 
whenever thtir eves come to be opened. Antl if God ever, in 
this world, shows thcin what they are, they will thereby per- 
ceive what tlanger thev are in : and 7ioxv a mere who can tell ? 
will make them also resolve to run for eternal sah-^ilion, till their 
very last breath. It is best that false confidence shoukl be kill- 
etl i and this way of reasoning does not, in the least, tend to hurt 
any other : It is best that sinners shoukl know the worst of 
their case ; and this way of reasoning does not tend to make it 
appear a jot worse than it is. 

Ob J, But what good does it do for sinners to he in such earnest 
to reform, read, watch, pray, run, fight, strive, as for their lives, 
since all they do is sin, and God will have mercy only on xvhom 
he will liaroe mercy. 

Ans. (1.) It is less sin to do these things, than not to do ihcm. 

(2.) Sinners never will be in such earnest, only when God 
comes to awaken and convince, and so to make them effectual- 


ly sensible of the dreadful state they are in ; and it is not any 
discouragements that can keep them from being in such eamebt 
ihen^ so long as the least hope ap}x;ars in their case. Otl^er 
people care but little about eternal things, and do but very little 
in religion, but what education, custom, the fashion, and their 
worldly interest, excite them unto. Most people think it so 
easy a thing to be saved, as that they look upon such great con- 
cern and earnestness as perfect frenzy. 

(3.) This great earnestness of awakened sinners makes them 
try their strength to purpose ;• whereby they come tohe experi- 
mentally convinced that it is not in their hearts to love God, be 
sorry for sin, or do any thing that is good ; whereby the high 
conceit they used to have of their ability and good nature is 
brought down, and they feel and find that they are enemies to 
God, and dead in sin : and hereby a foundation is laid for them 
to see the justice of God in their damnation, and so the reason- 
ableness of God's having mercy only on whom he will have 
mercy : And thus, the law, though it cannot give life^ yet is a 
school-master to bring men to Christ : And thus die main good 
the awakened sinner gets, by going to this school-master^ is ef- 
fectually to learn his need of Christ, and of the free grace of 
God through \\nn..,. Rom. vii. 8, 9. ...Gal. iii. 21 — 24: This is 
the great end God has in view, and this end all the sinner's car- 
nest strivings are well calculated to obtain. 

5. From what has been said, we may learn the nature of a 
saving conversioii^ and the mamier xvhcrein it it wrought. Con- 
version consists in our being recovered, from our present sinful- 
ness, to the moral image of God ; or, w hich is the same thing, 
to a real conformity to Uiemoi'al law : But a conformity to the 
moral law consists in a disposition to love (iod supremely, live 
to him ultimately, and delight in him superlatively — and to love 
our neighbor as ourselves.. ..and a practice agreeable tlKTcto : 
And therefore conversion consists in our being recovered from 
what we are by nature, to such a disposition and practice. 

And now, in order to such a glorious renovation and rccove- 
r)', God, by his spii-it, sets home the law upon the sinner's heart, 


caiwinj^ him to see and feel, to puqiosc, just how he has lived, 
and what he is, and what he descnes, and how he is in the hands 
of a sovereign Ciod, and at his disposal ; wherein- the hindran- 
ces which were in the wavof his conversion, are, in a sort, re- 
moved. Horn. ^ ii. 8, 9.... Tor without tlic hau^ sin icat dead : 
For Iivaft nlive xmthout the Unv oner ; hit ir/ien the eommund- 
mrnt eame^ .tin revived^ (uxd I died : And then God, who eorn- 
manded the light to shine out of darkness^ shines in thelieart^ and 
grees the light of the knoxvledgc of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesut Christ. ...II. Cor. iv. 6. And now a sense of the glory 
of God and divine things being thus imparted to the soul by the 
spirit of God, and the sinner being raised up from spiritual 
death to spiritual life, does return home to God through Jesus 
Christ, venturing his soul and immortal concerns upon the free 
grace of God, and through him gives up himself to God, to be 
his forever — to love him supremely — live to him entirelv, and 
<klight in him superlatively, and forever to walk in allliis wa\s; 
and hereby, at the same time, tlie man's licart begins to be ha- 
bitually framed to lo^'c his neighbor as himself, wiih a disinter- 
ested impartiality ; and thus an effectual foundation is laid for 
vmivcrsal external obedience, and that from genuine principles. 
And as the divine life is thus begun, so it is carried on in the 
soul much after the same manner. The spirit of God shews 
the believer, more and more, what a poor, sinful, hcU-dcsefving 
wretch he is in himself, and so makes him more and more sen- 
sible of his absolute need of free grace, through Jesus Christ, to 
pardon and to sanctify him. He grows in a sense of these 
things all his days ; whereby his heart is kept humble, and Christ 
and free grace made more precious. The spirit of God shcv.s 
tlie belic^'er, more and more, of the infinite glorj' and excellen- 
cy of Ciod, whereby he is more and more influenced to love 
him, live to him, and delight in him with all his heart: and, 
by the whole, his heart is framed more and more to love his 
neighbor as himselt : And thus the path of the Just is like a slu- 
ning light., that shines mere am! riicre, to the perfect day., (Prov. 
iv. 18.) ; only, it must be obsened, that the spirit's operations. 


after conversion, are attended with two difl'erences, arising from 
two causes : — (1.) From the different utatc of the subject 
wrought upon. The buUcvcr not being under the law as a cm'- 
enant, is not, by the sjiirit, filled vith tliosc legal terrors arising 
from the fears of hell, as heretofore he was....i?o;n. viii. 15 ; 
but only is made sensible of his remaining sinfulness, and the 
sinfulness and desert of sin, and of God's fatherly displeasure ; 
and hereby his heart is humbled and broken : Indeed, hereby 
•he is many times filled with unspeakable anguish and bitterness 
of soul. His sins are ever before his eyes, and his bones wax 
old through his roaring all the day /o7i^.... Psalm xxiii. 3, and 
li. 3. He is troubled.... he is bozved down greatly ....he goes mourn- 
ing all the day /o;z^.... Psalm xxxviii. 1 — 6. But these awa- 
kening, convincing, humbling, mourning, purifying times, al- 
ways end in peace and jo}-, and rest in God — attended with a 
greater degree of tenderness of conscience and holy watcWul- 
ncss, and followed with bringing forth more hviw..... Psalm xcvii. 
1 1, and cxxvi. 5, 0. — Kalni xxxii. 5, and lxxiii.v25 — 28. — yolm 
XV. 2. — II. Cor. vii. 1 0, 1 1. — Heb. xii. ll.^-Hos. ii. 6, 7, 14, 15. 
(2.) From the afferent nature of the subject wrought upon. 
The believer not being under the full power of sin, and at per- 
fect cnmitv against God, as once he was, hence does not resist 
the spirit with the whole heart, while he takes down the power 
of sin, as heretofore he did ; but has a genuine disposition to 
join in on God's side, and say, " Let me be effectually weaned 
*' from the world, and humbled, and made holy and heavenl}-, 
*' and be brought into an entire subjection to God in all things, 
" though by means and methods ever so cross to flesh and blood : 
" Let me be stript naked of allworldly comforts, and let Shimei 
" curse, and all outward evils and inward anguish of heart come 
" upon me, if nothing else will do. Here, Lord, I am in thy 
" hands ; chasten, correct, do what thou wilt with me, only let 
*' sin die — sin, tliine cnemj, the worst evil, and the greatest 
'' i)urdcn oimy soul."....A^o;;7. vii. 24.— II. Cor. iv, 8, 9, 16. — 
'fames i. 2. — Psalm cxix. 71 — Hcb. xii. 9. And he is not only 
thus willing that God should, by any methods, tuke down the 


power of sin fn the heart, but also joins in with the methods of 
divine grace, and, by v.aii.l»ingand praying, and by fighting -.nd 
Btriving, seeks the death of every cornipiiou : And from his 
thus joining in on God's side ag;anst the Jlcsh^ he is said, in scrip- 
ture, to cruiiftj ;V....Cial. v. 24 — and to work ctit li'm own nuba- 
'•7/;.. ..Phil. ii. 13. 

From what h'S been said under this head, we may see that 
a saving conversion differs very much from the conversion of 
these ybwr sorts of men : — (1.) The xvorldly hypocrite; who 
makes a profession of religion. .^docs many things.. ..appears 
EealoMs, and prefnds to be a good man, merely from worldly 
considerations, and to be seen oi TC\cvL....Mat. xxiii. 5. (2.) 
Tlic hgx2l hypocrite ; whose conversion is nothing else but a 
leaving off his vicious practices, and turning to be strict and 
conscientious in external duties, in hopes thereby to make 
amends for his past sins, and recommend himself to God ; and 
so escape hell, and get to heaven.. ../Cow. x. 3. (3.) Thcevan- 
geitcal hypocrite ; whose conversion was nothing else but this : 
— he was awakened to see his sins, and terrified with fear of 
hell, and humbled, in a measure, but not thoroughlv.... but great 
light broke into his mind, and nov/ he believes that Christ loves 
him, and has pardoned all his sins, and so is filled with joy and 
zeal, and is become quite another man ; but, still, has no 
grace.... J/<//. xiii. 20 — Hcb. \\. A — II. 7-^c'/. ii. 20: These 
usually either fall away to carnal security, or, being puffed up 
with pride, turn enthusiasts. (4.) The wild, blazing enthusi- 
ast — whose conversion all arises yj-^m imaginary notions. He 
has an imaginary sight of his sin.. ..his heart....lhe wrath of God 
....of hell and the devil, and is tenibly distressed : and then 
he sees Christ in a bodily shape, it may be on the cross with 
his blood running, or, seated on a throne of glorj' at his father's 
right hand — he sees a great light shining all round him. ...hears 
the angels sing. ...sees visions. ...hears voices.. ..has revelations, 
and thinks himself one of the very best saints in the whole world, 
though, in truth, he, by scandalous practices, or heretical i)rin- 
ciples, or both, soon appears to be seven times more a child of 

A A 


the devil than he was before : However, in his own conceit, 
he knows infallibly that he is right, and all the world cannot con- 
vince him to the contrary : Yea, he is fit, at once, to be a min- 
ister, though ignorant of the first principles of religion ; he is 
inspired by God, and whoever likes him not is an enemy to Jei 
sus Christ, he doubts not at all. These are the tares the de- 
vil sows, by means of whom the ways of God are evil spoken 
oi.,..Mat. xiii. 39 — II. Cor. xi. 14 — I. Tim. i. 7. 

Now these several sorts of religion, the true and the false, 
growing up from these several roots, do all receive a different 
nourishment, according to their different nature ; through which 
nourishment they grow and increase ; and through the want of 
which they decay. The good man^ the greater sense he has of 
God's infinite glorj^ as he has revealed himself in the law and 
in the gospel, so, proportionably, does his religion flourish and 
grow in all its various branches, and shine with a heavenly lus- 
tre : The vjorldly hypocrite lays out himself most in religion, 
when there are the most to observe and applaud him : The le- 
gal hypocrite, when his conscience is most terrified with the 
thoughts of death, judgment, and eternity : And the evangelical 
hypocrite has his iffections raised, his love, and joy, and zeal, 
in pro}X)rtion to his supposed discoveries of the love of Christ 
to him, in particular, and sense of the glories of a (fancied) heav- 
en : And, finally, the blazing enthusiast is more or less lively in 
religion according as he has dreams, hears voices, has impres- 
sions and revelations, and is applauded by his party. And, ac- 
cordingl)', those different sorts of religion will grow and thrive 
tlie best under such different sorts of preaching as suits their 
several natures : And men will cr^^ up those ministers most, 
whose preaching and conduct agree willi their hearts the best. 
Mic. iv. 5....For all people will walk, every 07ie in the name of his 
God: And true believers will walk in the name of the Lord 
their God. 

6. From ;dl that has been said, we may learn that a sinner is 
naturally disposed to resist the spirit of God with all his mighty 
when he comes to awaken, convince, and humble him. take 


down tlxe power of sin in his heait, and turn him to Ciod. — 
Conversion consists in our being recovered Ironi the sinful state 
we are in, by nature, to a real conformity to the divine law ; i. 
c. in our being recovered from a disposition to love ourselves 
supremely, live to ourselves ultimately, and delight in that which 
isnoi Cod whollv.-.and a practice agreeable to this dib.[Kjsiiion j 
— to a disposition to love God supremely, live to him ukimate- 
ly, and delight in liim supcrlati\ ely, and to love our neighbors as 
Qursclvcs...and a practice agreeable thereto ; i.e. inotherwords, 
in our being recovered from one disposition, to another directly 
contrary to it— even so contran, Uiat the firet must die» in or- 
der to the other's existence. This disposition, from which we 
arc to be recovered, is not any habit contracted merely by cus- 
tom, which might more easily be parted with ; but it is connat- 
uial to us — a disposition rooted, as it were, in our verv nature, 
and which has the full jxjsscssion of oiu- souls, and the entire 
government of our hcaits ; — in a word, a disposition which we 
in every respect pertectly love, and which we perfecll)' hate 
should be ever crossed, and which yet must be slain, or we nev- 
er converted. Now, if ever a sinner be recovered from this , 
disposition, it is evident it must be against the ver).-gi-ain of his 
heart : his heart, therefore, wUl make the utmost resistance it 
possibly can. 

If we were entirely renewed In an instant, without any prc' 
vious strivings of the spirit, then, indeed, there would be no room 
nor time for resistance ; but, otherwise, the heart will resist : 
If dicre were the least disposition in our hearts, contrary to our 
natural disposition to love ourselves supremely, live to ourselves 
ultimately, and delight in that which is not God wholly, it might 
join in on God's side. sincerely desirous that God would s!ay 
the enmitv of our hearts ; but there is not : The carn:d mind is 
wholly enmity against God — is not subject to his law, nor can 
be ; and so the whole heait will make resistance. It the dis- 
position, to which we are recovered in con\ er>ion, were not so 
direcUy contrar) to our natural disposition, as that our naturpJ 
disposition must be slain, in Oider to the very being of that, the 


sinner's opposition might not be so great ; but, when all that is 
within him is directly crossed and going to be killed, all that is 
within him will oppose and resist, till slain. We are, by nature, 
wholly in the Jiesh and after the fiesh : According to a scripture- 
phrase, that which is born cfthefesh^ is fiesh ; and, by conver- 
sion, we are to become spirit.... That xvhich is born of the spirit^ 
is spirit. But the ^6'5A and the .?/?;>/> are, in scripture, repre- 
sented as being contrary the one to the other : WiW fiesh^ then, 
of its own accord, become spirit ? No, surely : for thefiesh hist- 
cth against the spirit; i. e. is wholly averse from it,and set against 
it : so that there is no other way but for thefiesh to be crucified, 
with the affections and lusts : But the fiesh perfectly hates this 
death, and therefore will resist xvith all its 7nighf. ...Kom, viii. 
r, 8 — John iii. 6— Gal. v. 17 — Rom. vi. 6. 

As the truth of this point is thus evident, from the reason 
and nature of things, so it is farther confinned from constant 
experience : For, let any man read the Bible with attention, and 
he may plainly see that the very thing which God has always 
been aiming at, in all the external means he has used with his 
professing people, in every age of the v/orld, has been to recover 
them to a conformity to his holy Icau, in heart and life ; i. e. to 
recover them from a disposition to love themselves supremely, 
live to themselves ullimatcl}', and delight in that which is not 
God wholly, and a practice agreeable thereunto, to a dis* 
position to love God supremely, live to him ultimately, and de- 
light in him superlatively, and to love their neighbors as them- 
selves, and to practise accoi'dingly : For on these txvo commaiids 
hang all the Ictxu and the prophets. And we mav also 
plainly see, that God's professing people have alwavs manifest- 
ed the greatest aversion to hearken to the /aryandto the proph- 
ets, and so to die to themselves, the world, and sin ; and thus to 
give up themselves to God, to love him, live to him, delight in 
him, and walk in all his ways. God sent all his servants, the 
prophets^ to the children of Israel, rising early and sending ; 
but they alwa} s hated their words, and so stopped their cars, 
and refused to obey : yea, they fell into a rage at them, and, in 


their rage, thrv mocked them....thoy sconrn^rd thcm....tlu'y 
bound thcin....lhcy imprisoned ihcin....i!iey stoned them. ...tiny 
sawed them asunder, and made the rest wander about in deserts 
and mountains, and in dens and ca\cs ol the earth, in sl>eej>- 
siiins and goat-skins, destitute, afflirtcd, tormented.... //r/>i. \i. 
35 — 3fl : And when Ciod sent his well-beloved Son to rail a 
wicked world to return home unto him, they said, Come,, let uh kill 
/*/?/».... Mat. xxi. 33 — 39. And when Chr'nH sent his ajKstlr.i to 
carr\' the glad tidings of pardon and peace ;o the ends of the 
earth, and call all men to repent and be converted — ^to return, 
and love, and serve tlic living God, both Jf-ius and Gentiles con- 
spired together against them, and killed them — just as the ten 
triOes killed the mcssenjjer whom U-jhohoiim sent unto them, 
to call and invite them to return to their former allegiance....!. 
Kings xii. 1 8. Therefore, says our blessed Savior to the Jews, 
who pretended great love to God and to the law, and mighiily 
to honor their prophets, 2'ou are like xvhitcd sepulchres ; ycu 
appear oiUxvardlij rigriteous^ but inruardlij ore full of all hifpocri" 
gy and xuickedness. Tour fathers killed the prophets,, whom yon 
pretend to honor,, but ijou are full as bad as they ivcrc. 2'e ser- 
pents. generation of vipers^hc. Wherefore,^ behold^ I send un- 
to you prophets,, and zvisc men,, and scribes ; and some of them ye 
shall kill and crucify,, and some of them ye shall scourge in your 
aynagcgues^ cuid persecute them from city to city. ferusalem,, 
Jerusalem,, thou that killest the prophets,, and stones t them tliat 
are sent unto thee,, how often -would I have gathered thy children 
together,, even as the hengathereth her chickens under her winv^s,, 
«;i</j/e WOULD NOT .'...Mat. xxiii. 2r — o7. From all which, 
noticing can be plaiiKir, than that this rebellious, Gv^d-l\ating 
world always have been set against a return to God, and been 
disposed to do all they could, to render all means inclVcctual. 
Well might St. Stephen, therefore, say unto the Jews as he did, 
in Acts vii. 5{., st/Jf-necked and uncircuincised in heart and 
ears,, ye do always resist the holy Ghost : as your fathers diJ^ 
so do ye : nor had they any reason to be angr\' with him therefor. 
And as all, who have enjoyed the external UK-ans of grace, 


have thus been disposed to hate the light.. ..shut their eyes.... 
stop their ears, and refuse to hear, and been utterly opposed to 
a return to God ; so this is evidently the case with all whom 
God has inwardly wrought upon by his spirit — as all know, who 
have either had any experience themselves, or have candidly 
observed the experience of others : And, indeed, it must be 
so ; for the very same temper which will make men resist the 
outivardy will also dispose them to resist the inward means of 
grace. For the hohj spirit teaches and urges the very same 
things that Moses and the prophets^ and Christ and his apostles 
teach and urge, and pursues the same end ; and will, therefore, 
of consequence, meet with the same opposition and resistance, 
from the very same quarter. This is the condemnation^ that 
light has come into the world^ and men love darkness rather than 
light^ because their deeds are evil.. ..He that doth evil haleth the 
light. ...'\o\i\\ iii. 19, 20. That light which will discover men's 
evil deeds, and shew them their fallen, sinful, guilty, helpless, 
undone condition. ...and so spoil all their worldly, carnal com- 
forts, the very idols of their hearts.. ..and also kill their legal, 
self-righteous hopes, which is all the awakened and concerned 
•inner has, to his own sense and apprehension, to depend upon 
*— that light which affects things, which are so directly cross to 
the inward temper of the sinner's heart, he will naturally be dis- 
posed to hate. ...shut his eyes against.. .flee from and resist with 
all his might ; and that whether it comes from the e.Y^er/zct/ teach- 
ings of the word, or internal teachings of the spirit : Yea, 
so long as there is the least remainder of corruption left in be- 
lievers themselves, it will hate to die, and struggle with all its 
might to keep its ground — ^jea, and to recover its former do- 
minion : Rom. vii. 23..,. I see another laxv in my members^xuar- 
ring against the laxv in my mind^ and bringing me into captivity 
to the law ofsin^ xvhich is in my members : Yea, it implies a con- 
tradiction to suppose corruption tan in any case be willing to 
die ; for every temper in our hearts naturally loves to be grat- 
ified and pleased, and it is a contradiction to suppose it can, at 
the same time, be willing to be crossed and killed.... Gu/. \. 1 7. 


Op J. But do not awakened sinners earnest hj desire to repent of 

and be humbled for their sins, and to mortifij their corruptions^ 
and to give up themsehes to God, to love aiul live to him ? And 
do they not earnestly pray for the divine spirit to assist them so 
to do ? Horv can they then be disposed^ at the same time, to make 
sxich miifhty resistance. 

Ans. (1 .) Awakened sinners see themselves in great danger, 
and they therefore earnestly desire and seek after self-prescr\a- 
tion ; and this is plainly owing to nature, and not to any gi-acc 
orgoodncss in their hcaits. Psalm Ixvi. i... Through the great- 
ness of thy poxver, thine enemies submit themsehes unto thee ; i. e. 
they feign a submission, but they are thine enemies. — (2.) That 
which moves them to desire to repent, be humbled, 8it. is,tliey 
hope by these means to make amends for their past sins, and 
ingratiate tliemsclvcs into the favor of God..../?ow. x. 3. ; i. e. 
merely from self-love, wiih pure hypocrisy, they would impose 
upon God : For (3.) alter all their pretences, desires, and pray- 
ers, their nature and temper is just what it used to be ; and 
were they but delivered from the fears of hell, and left at full 
liliert)' to follow their own inclinations, they would live as vi- 
tiously as ever they did. — (4.) Yet they pretend to love God, 
and would fain have him believe them sincere, and are ready to 
expect acceptance for what they do, and to think it hard if God 
should not accept them. Now, if it was the work of the 5;pirit 
of God, to buildup such a sinner in this hypocritical, self-right- 
eous way, he might be disposed, while under his fears and ter- 
rors, to concur and fall in with the spirit's influence ; and all 
merely from self-love and for self-ends : But if the spirit of God 
goes about to bring home the law in its strictness, and shew such 
a sinner the ver)' truth, that he does not love God, nor desire 
to.. .-that his desires, and prayers, and tears, are all hypocritical.... 
that he is still dead in sin, and an enemy to God. ...that he de- 
serves to be damned as much as ever he did. ...that God is at 
lil>ert)-, all his duties notwitiistanding, to reject'.t he 
lies absolutely at God's mcrc)' ; now he will hate the light, shut 
his eyes against it, quarrel at it, and resist it with all his might. 


Ii is exceedingly hard for the poor sinner, when he begins to be 
awalx'ned, to part with a vain life, and vain companions. ...his 
carnal case and comfort, and all vicious courses — to make resti- 
tution to those he has wronged in name or estate, and give him- 
self to reading, meditation, and prayer, and to a serious, morti- 
fving way of living : he cannot bear the thoughts — would fain 
contrive an easier way, or else delay, for the present, so mourn- 
ful and tedious a work : But when, by the dreadful fears of 
hell and eternal damnation, he has been brought, after much re- 
luctance and unwillingness, to a forced consent to all this, ho- 
ping thereby to appease the divine wrath and procure the divine 
favor — now, to have all his self-righteous hopes dashed and 
confounded, by a sight of die badntss of his heart, by seeing he 
has no love to God.. sorrow for sin. inclination to be 
holy, but averse to God and all that is good, and that all his for- 
ced goodness has no virtue in it.. ..that he is yet under the whole 
guilt of all his sin. ...under condemnation of the law and the wrath 
of God.. ..dead in sin. enemy to God. ...absolutely at God's 
mercy ; — this, this, I say, is dreadful indeed, and far more cross 
to the very grain of the sinner's heart than all he ever met with 
before. Here, therefore, there will be the greatest struggle, 
and strongest resistance, before ever the sinner can, by the spir- 
it of God, be brought clearly to see and give into these things ; 
for all these tilings are directly cross to the sinner's disposition 
to love himself supremely, and live to himself ultimately — di- 
rectly cross to a spirit of self-supremacy and independence. — 
The sinner cannot bear that God should be so great and so 
sovereign, and himself so vile. little. absolutely at mercy : 
it is a killing thing. When the commandment came, sin revi- 
ved, and I Jicil : So that it is plain, that, notwithstanding all 
the av/akened sinner's selfish desires and prayers, yet, in Uie 
halyitual temper of his heart, he stands disposed to resist 
the influences of the divine spirit with ail his might. He is 
r,o far from being willing to repent of his sins, that he is ut- 
terlv unu ilUing to see and own his sinfulness — so far from 
<lt !«iirliig to be humbled, that he is by no means willing to sec 


ihc cause and reason he has to be hunibK d — so far from desi- 
ring to be made si)intually alive, that he will not so much as own 
that lie is spiritually ilcad — so far from desiring the gracious 
influences of the holy spiritto reconcile him to (iod,that he will 
not own that he is an enemy to (io(l...but would fain think that 
he heartllv disircs to love (jod, and stands ready to hate and 
resist that light, which would discover the enmity of his heart. 
He that doth evil^ hateth the I'ght^ and flees from it, lest his nil 
deeds be discovered ; and, for the same reason, he that hath an 
evil heart hates the light and resists it, lest die badness of his 
heart W discovered. 

7. From all that has been said, we may learn that those in- 
Jiueturs of the spirit^ which will be sulhcient cJf'cctiialUj to a'.va- 
kcn, convince, and humble the sinner, and recover him to God, 
must Ijc irresistible ZT\d supernatural. 'I'liat the internal influ- 
ences of the holy spirit are necessary to recover sinners to God, 
is so plainly held forth every where in the Bii:)le, that the Ar- 
miiiians themselves do not deny it : But hoiv much^ and xvliat 
kind of influences are needful, is very much disputtd. Now so 
jnuch^ and such sort of influences are, beyond dispute, needful^ 
as will be sufftcicnt effectually to answer the end^ and witl.oiit 
w hich no sinner w ill ever be converted : This is self-evident. 
If sinr.ers were so good-natured as to see, and feel, and own 
their sinfulness, and the justice of the sentence whereby they 
ttixnd condemned, and die to themselves, the world and sin, 
and return home to God, through Jesus Christ. love him, 
live to him, and delight in him forever, of tht-lr own accord, 
merely upon reading the Bible, and ht:arlng tiie law and the 
gospel preached, then there would be tio need of anv inward 
inilucnces of the spirit at all ; or, if thev were so 
as to be easily persuaded to do so, then some small degree of tlie 
inward influences of the spirit would do: But if, in \l\c first 
place., they are altogether unwilling to sec, and ietA^ :ind own 
their sin and guilt, and the justice of their condemnallcn accor- 
ding to law, and entirely disposed to hate and resist die li'/nt, 

as hath but just now been proved, then iliev must be biought 

B B 


to It by an all'COJiquerhig^ irrcsiaiible gv2ice,ornot at all: And 
if, in the second place ^ th-c clearest sight and greatest sense a nat- 
ural man can have of what God is, instead of making him appear 
infinitely glorious and amiable in the eyes of one whose heart 
is dead in sin, and diametrically opposite to the divine nature, 
%vill rather irritate corruption, and make the native enmity of 
the heart ferment and rage, and become but the more apparent 
and sensible, as has been heretofore proved, then there must 
be a super nalural^ spiritual^ and divine change wrought in the 
lieart, by the immediate influences of the spirit of God, whereby 
it shall become natural to look upon God as infinitely glorious 
and amiable in being what he is, and so a foundation hereby 
laid for us to love him with all our hearts, and so sincerelv to 
repent, return, and give up ourselves to him, to live to him, and 
delight in him forever ; — I say, if these things be so, there must 
be such a change wrought by the spirit of God, or not one sin- 
ner in the world will ever be converted to God : and, therefore, 
that there is an absolute necessity of such influences of the spirit 
of God, in order to a saving conversion, is evident, to a demon- 
stration, from the very reason and nature of things. God him- 
self must ta/:e away the heart of stone, and give an heart offeshy 
and xurite his law on our hearts.. ..raise us from the dead.. ..create 
us anew.. our eyes^ &c. &c. according to the huiguage of 
scripture : And these things God does do for all that are re- 
newed, and therefore they are said to be born of God. be born 
of the spirit. ..Jo be spiritual. be made partakers of the divine na- 
ture, cic. and God is said to ^lyc faith, repentance, imd ev^-ry di- 
vine grace. ..iizr/'. xxxvi. 26 — Ilcb. viii. 10 — Ep/i. ii. 1 — 10 — I. 
Cor. iv. 6 — fohn i. 13, and iii. 6 — A'&;«. viii. 6, 9 — II. J\t. \. 
4 — Acts V. 31 — fames \. 17. 

8. From what has been said, we may learn to understand the 
doctrine of divine !:overcignty in the bcstoxvment of spcciid grace 
for the rcgencratioii and conversion of sinners. The scripture 
represents Ci<Kl as choosing some before the foundation cf the 
world, to be holy and to be his children. .,.E]}h. i. 4, 5 — and teaches 
us that whom he did predestinate^ them he also calls. ..,<ind whom 


he calls ythem he also justifies,, .and xvhom he just'tjiea^tliem he also 
glorifies. ...\\.oxv\.\\'\\. 30 — ;\n(l plainly iiuimatcs that such as are 
given to Christ, aiui oriiaincd to eternal lij'e^ Itflicvc^ and none oth- 
er. ...}o\m vi. 37, 39 — Acts xiii. 48 — Rom. xi. 7 : And the 
scriptures teach us that God has mercij on xvhom he ivill have 
tnerc'j, and rompassion on xvhom he will /mve compassion.. ..Rum. 
ix. 18 — aiKl that, for the most part, he passes btj the rich, and 
great, and honorable., and chooses the meanest and most ignob/fy 
that no fesh might glory in his presence....!. Cor. i. 26—29: 
He hides the gospel from the xvise and prudent., and reveals it to 
babes ; and that because it pleases him so to do, and Christ rejoices 
in his sovereign pleasure herein, as displaying his infinite wis- 
dom.... ;'^^/^ xi. 25, 26. 

And now whiit has been said may show us the infinite rea- 
sonableness of such a procedure : For God, whose eves run to 
and fro through all the earth, seeing all things as being what 
they are, plainly beholds and views the state and temper of this 
apostate world ; and let men pretend what they will, he knows 
their hearts — ^he knows they do not love him, nor care for him 
— he sees all their hypocrisy, and their inward contrariety to 
him and his law, and how much they are settled in their tem- 
per.. far from repentance, that they will not so much as see 
their sin, but stand to justify themselves, insensible of their 
guilt, and insensible of their desert, hating the light : He sees 
they hate to perceive their sin, and guilt, and desert, and to be 
humbled, and lie down at his foot, and be absolutely beholden 
to him ; and that they wovild make the utmost resistance if he 
should take them in hand, and go about thoroughlv to convince 
them, by his spirit, how things really are : Thus he views his 
apostate, rebellious creatiu-es, and sees how sinful. dead 
in sin.. contrar\- to all good, and how iireclaimable they 
arc, and, upon the whole, how much they deserve eternal dam- 
nation. In the days of eternity, he saw just how things would 
be, beforehand ; and now, in time, he sees just how things actu- 
ally are : In the days of eternit}-, therefore, he saw tiiat there 
would not be anything in them to move him to have mercy ort 


any ; and now, in time, he finds it to be the case : and yet he 
was pleased, then^ of his mere sovereign pleasure, to determine 
not to cast off all, but to save some — so, noxo^ he is pleased to put 
his sovereign pleasure in execution ; and he has mercy on 
whom he will have mercy, and compassion on whom he will 
have compassion, and many times takes the meanest and vilest, 
that the sovereignty of his grace might be the more illustrious, 
and the pride of all flesh might be brought low, and the Lord 
alone be exalted : And surely such a conduct infinitely well be- 
comes the supreme Governor of the whole world. 

Indeed, if any of Adam's race were so well disposed, as, of 
their own accord, merely upon reading the Bible, hearing the 
gospel preached, and enjoying the common means of grace, to 
believe and repent, and to return home to God through Jesus 
Christ, they might be accepted, pardoned, and saved ; nor would 
there be any room for, or need of sovereign grace : But God, 
who knows the hearts of all, sees that all the pretences of sinners, 
that way, are but mere hypocrisy, and that, at heart, they are his 
enemies, and utterly opposed to a return. Or if there was any 
virtue to be found among any of the fallen race of Adam, ante- 
cedent to God's grace, this might move him to have mercy upon 
one, rather than another: But he sees that all are entirely desti- 
tute of love to him, and entirely at enmity against him, wholly 
void of real goodness, and dead in sin, and that the only reason 
why some are not so outwardly extravagant and vicious as others, 
is, because he has, by one means and another, restrained them, 
and not because they are really better. And while God thus be- 
holds all alike dead in sin, and, in the temper of their hearts, by 
nature, equally averse to a return to him, and views all as guilty 
and hell-deserving, there is nothing....there can be nothing, to 
move him to determine to show mercy to one, rather than anoth- 
er, but his own good pleasvue ; and tiiercfore he has mercy on 
whom he will have mercy : he awakens, convinces, humbles, 
converts whom he pleases, and leaves the rest to follow their own 
inclinations, and Uike thtir own course, ciuluriiw^ tvith much 
lon^'^iiffcrin^^ the venscla ojxvialh. 

I^ct it Ix; Ik re noted, that many of tliosc warm disputes about 
the doctrine ot divine sovercignt), which h;ive illlcil the chiis- 
ti;m world, turn very much u|X)n this point. All are agreed, 
that whosoever bchevcs, repents, and returns to (iod, through 
Jesus, :shall he saved : All will, ihtrelore, \i(.ld that if 
mankind, in general, were so well disposetl as to return to God, 
thi-ough Jesus Christ, of their cnvn acfdid, upon liie calls and 
invitations of the gospel, and only hv the influence and helj) of 
those ad\antages which are common, then all might he saved ; 
nor would there be any need of, or room for, this sovereign, 
distinguishing grace : But if mankind have none of this dispo- 
sition, but are every way diamctrieally opposite thereto — if all 
the calls of ihc gospel, and common means and methods of 
grace will have no effectual influence upon them — if nothing I)ut 
an almighty, all-conquering grace can stop them in their course 
of rebellion, subdue their lusts, and recover them to Gv)d ; — if 
this be the case of all miuikind, then it is plain that nothing but 
the mere mercy of God can interpose and prevent an universal 
ruin : And it is plain that the sovereign Governor of the whole 
world is, in tlie nature of things, at most perfect liberty to shew 
this mercy to none, or to some few, or to all, just as it seems 
good in his sight : And since, from eternity, he foresaw just 
how things would be, from eternity he might determine what 
to do : So that the great question is. Whether mankind are 
naturally so entirely averse to a true conversion ? For if they 
are, the reasonableness of the divine sovereignty must be ad- 
mitted in this case ; and if they are not, none will any longer 
plead for it : And what the natural opposition of mankind to 
conversion is, may be easily seen, if we consider what the true 
nature of conversion is, and compai'e their temper herewith : 
And what the true nature of conversion is, mav be easily known 
by considering the true nature of the moral law : — In a uoKl,if 
the law docs only require what the Armiiuans and Pcla(rians 
suppose, and religion be just such a thing, it is a plain case that 
mankind are not so bad, nor do th.y need such an irresistible 
gi-sce : But if the law requires quite another sort cf holiness, 


and so true religion be quite another soit of thing, even such as 
I have described, which lies so diametrically opposite to the x\M- 
ural bent and bias of our whole souls, it is a clear case 
that grace must be irresistible, and can proceed from noth- 
ing but mere free mercy, nor result from any thing but the sove- 
reign pleasure of the most High : So that, in short, die whole 
dispute is resolved into this question — What does the law of 
God require, and wherein does a genuine conformity thereto 
consist? But of this more afterwards. 

And from what has been said, we may easily gatlier a plain 
and short anewer to all the mighty cry about pi-omises^ promi' 
ses to the unconverted^ {f^^^^y "will do as xuellas they can ; for it 
is plain, heaven's gates stand wide open to all that believe and 
repent, and return to God, through Jesus Christ....yo/m iii. 16 : 
and it is plain, the wrath of God is revealed against all who do 
not do this...yc//;2 iii. 36 : and it is plain that there is nothing but 
the want of a good temper, together with the obstinate per\erse- 
ness of sinners, that hinders dieir return to God ; and that, there- 
fore, all their pretences of being willing to do as well as they cai\, 
are mere hypocrisy. They are so unwilling to return to God, 
or take one step that way, that they can be brought back by 
nothing short of an almighty power ; and are so far, therefore^ 
from being entitled to the promises of the gospel, that they are 
actuallv, and that deservedly too, under condemnation by the 
gospel, {yohn iii. 18) and under all the curses of the law...G«/. 
iii. 10. " Take heed, therefore, O sinner, thou enemy of God, 
•* when you pretend that you desire to repent and do as well as 
*' you can, that you be not found quieting yourself in a state of 
" estrangement from God, hiding your natural aversion to God 
** and holiness under fair pretences : And know it, if you do, 
" though you may deceive yourself by the means, yet it will ap- 
* pear, anotlvcr day, before all worlds, and it will be known that 
*' you we?e an enen^y to (iod, and wonUnot be reconciled, and 
" did but flatter him with your lips, and lie unto him widi your 
'■'■ tongue, in all your seemingly devout pretences. You think 
" yourself good enough to have an interest in the promises, but 


" infinite goodness judges you dcsene to be numbered among 

*' tlif children ofwiaih and heirs of hell ^John iii. 18, 36. — 

'^ Your high conceit oi your own goodness is tlic foundation of 
*' all your confidence, and both join to keep you secure in sin 
" and under guilt, and insensible of your need c/f Christ and 
" sovereigiA grace.... /.W/fr \. 31 — Rom. x. 3." Did sinners hut 
fee the badness of their hearts, they would be soon convinced 
that the promises are not theirs, but the ihreatenings ; and 
would feel and know that they have no claims to make, but lie 
absolutely .it mercy.... Z,j/Xr xviii. 13. 

9. And if it is nodiing but the mere grace and sovereign good 
•pleasure of God, which moves him to stop sinners in their ca- 
reer to hell, and by his iiresistible and all-conquering grace, 
and by the 8upern;itural iniluences of his holy spirit, sub- 
due their stubbornness, take down the power of sin in their 
hearts, and recover them to himself : and if he does this 
for them, w hen they are at eiimity aj^ainst him, and arc his open 
enemies by w ickcd works, and so arc iiltogcther dcsening his 
wrath and vengeance ; — I say, if this be the case, there is all 
reason to think, that /a-, xvho thus beghi,s\ will carry on the yvork 
to pfrfcctton. He knew how bad the sinner was when he first 
took him in hand.. he hated to be converted, and how he 
would resist, and that liis own almighty arm must bring salva- 
tion ; and yet diis did not discourage his first undertaking : 
And he knew how the sinner would prove after conversion..., 
just how barren and unfruitful. ...just how perverse and rebel- 
lious, and just how apt to forget Ciod and turn away from him, 
and that his own almightv giace nmst alwaj s be working in hin* 
to will and to do.... Phil. ii. 13. He knew all tiie discouiiJging 
circumstances before-hand, and his infmite goodness surmoimt- 
ed them all — and he had mercv on the poor sinner, because he 
would hove mere)' on him, of hits mere good pleasure, from 
his boundless grace, aiming at the gloiy of his own great name 
....E/)h. i. C. And now, this being the case, we have ail reason 
to think that God w ill never alter his hand, or leave unfinished 
the work w hich he has begun ; for llurcidv.'.a}s will be die same 


niOtive from which he undertook the work, to excite him to car- 
ry it on — even the infinite goodness of his nature ; and he will be 
always under the snme advantages to answer the end he at first 
proposed, namely, the advancement of the glory <■ f his grace : 
And he will never meet with any unforeseen difficulties or dis- 
couragements in his v/ay. We may, therefore, be pretty cer- 
tain, if really God begins this woi'k, under such views and such 
circumstances, tint it is with design to carry it on ; — as Samuel 
reasons in a pai'allel case : — I. Sam. xii. 22. ...For the Lord -will 
not forsake his people for his great name's sake ; IccaKse it hath 
pleased the Lord to male ijou his people : So that if the doctrine 
of the saints'' perseverance v/ere not expressly taught in scrip- 
ture, yet, on this ground, wc might argue very strongly for it : 
But that this is a doctrine plainly revealed in the gospel, we may 
learn from 3Iat. xiii. :23 — John iv. 14, and x. 4, 5, 2r, 28 — I. 
yo/miii. 6, 9 — Hdwxv. \0, Z<c.. he. When St. Paul kept 
under his body, and brought it into subjection, lkst he should 
be a cast-axvai!^ (I. Cor. ix. 27.) he did no otherwise than he 
was wont to do in temporal concerns, in cases wherein he was, 
beforehand, 6'e?-f(r//i of the event : So he sent word to the ehitf 
Captain^ of the fervs lying in wait to kill him, lest he should be 
7)iurdered by them ; although it was revealed to him from God, 

but the very night before, that he should live to see Rome 

Acts xxiii. 12 — 21 : So he would not allow the sailors to leave 
the ship in the midst of the storm, lest they shoidd some of them 
be drovjiicd for want of their help ; although, but a little before, 
it was revealed to him from God that not one of them should be 
drowned. . ..yic^^ xxvii. 23 — '31. And, indeed, it was his duty 
to do as he did, as much as if he had been at the greatest un- 
certainties about the event : So, although Paul knew that never 
any thing should separate himfrom the lave of God., (Rom. viii. 
38.) — vet he ured -.11 possible endeavors to mortify his corrup- 
tions, lest he should be a cast-atvay : And, indeed, it was his 
duty to do so, as much as it he had been at the greatest uncer- 
tainties about the event : And what was his duly, was also the 
duty of all g'lod men ; and therefore St. Paul, in his epistles^ is 


freqnentlv exhorting all to do as he did ; and that in a perfect 
consistcncv with il»c doctrine of the saiiita* pnscvcrame^ which 
he also leaches : And as Paul's being ctrtain of the event did 
not tend to make hina careless in the use of proper means to 
fcave his natural life, but raUier tended to encourage and ani- 
mate him, as knowing that he should finally succeed — so his he- 
\\v^crrtain of the event did not tend to make him careless, but 
to animate him, with respect to his spiritual and eternal life : 
And as it was widi him, so it is with all good men„,./?ow. vi, 2 : 
For this is always the case, that certainty of success animates 
men, if the thing they are about be what they love, and what 
their hearts are engaged in ; but to die to themselves, the world 
and sin, and love God, and live to him, and giow up into per- 
fect lioliness, is what all believers love, and have their hearts en- 
gaged after ; an absolute certainty, therefore, of perseverance 
has, in the nature of things, the greatest tendency to animate 
them to the most sprightly activity. There are none but grace- 
less hypocrites that take encouragement from the doctrines of 
free grace to carelessness and s\vi...,Rom. vi. 1, 2. 

10. If this be the nature of a saving conversion — if this be 
the nature of true holiness — if this be true religion, so contrary 
to flesh and blood, and all the habitual propensities of nature, 
then, so long as there is the least corruption left in the hearty there 
zvill, cfnecvssiti/y he a continual confivt : Grace will continually 
seek the ruin of sin, through its contrariety to it, and hatred of 
it ; and sin will strive to maintain its ground — yea, and to re- 
gain its former dominion. The gracious nature delights in the 
law of GckI, and aspires after sinless perfection — the sinful na- 
ture hates the law of God, and strives to lead the man captive 
into sin : The gracious nature is a disposition to love GodT su- 
premely, live to him ultimately, and delight in him superlative- 
Iv ; and this sinful nature is a disposition to love self supreme- 
ly, live to self ultimately, and delight in that which is not God 
wholly : and because these two are contrary the one to the oth- 
er^ therefore rvill lust against the spirit, and the spirit 

fi'-'cinU t.hefcsh..,.(j-€\l. v. 17. The gracious irature joins in on 

C c 


God's side against all sin ; and while God -works in the man to 
lulll and to do^hexvorks out his orun aahatioji with fear and tr em- 
bUng....\\\\h. caution and circumspection. ...with watchfulnesa 
and holy concern — laboring to die to himself, the world and sin, 
and be wholly the Lord's....PA/7. ii. 12, 13. While the divine 
spirit is breathing upon his heart, and realising to him the be- 
ing and perfections of God. ...the existence and importance of 
divine and eternal things, and is spreading divine light over his 
soul, and is banishing selfish and worldly views, and is drawing 
his soul to holy and divine contemplations, he feels the divine 
influence.. ..he blesses the Lord. ...he summons all within him 
to engagedness....he pants after God : — " O that I might know 
*' him — that I might see him in his infinite glor}^ ! (Psalm Ixiii. 
*' 1, 2.)....C God^ thou art my Cod, early will I seek thee — my 
" sold thirsteth for thee — my flesh longethfor thee^ in a dry and 
*' thirsty kind, where no xvater is. ...To see thy power and glorify 

*■'• so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (Verse 8.) 3Iy 

*''' soul foUoweth hard after thee. (Psalm Ixxiii. '2.5^....Whom 
** have I in heaven but thee ? And there is no7ie upon earth Ide- 
*' sire besides thee. O diat I could, with mj' whole heart, love 
'' thee forever, live to thee forever, live upon thee forever, and 
" never, never, depart from thee ! O that I could think for thee, 
*' and speak for thee, and act for thee — at home and abroad, 
*' by day and by night, always live to thee, and upon thee ! — 
*' Here, Lord, I give myself to thee, to be forever thine. love 
*' thee and to fear thee, and to walk in all thy ways, and to keep 
*' all thy commands ; and O that my heart might nc\'cr dej^art 
*' from thee ! But alas, alas, to rvillis present xvith ?«r....tohave 
" a disposition to all this, and long for all this, and seek and 
*' strive for all t-his, is easy and natural,ybr I delight in the laiu 
*' of God after the imvard man ; but hoiv to perform J find not — 
^' how to get my whole heart so to f;ill in, as that there shall not 
*' be tlie least contiary temper, this is quite beyond me, for T 
♦' am still carnal, sold under sin.. ..have another law in my mcm- 
" /;t'/-.v....have still the remains (of tif' flesh) of my native con- 
** trariety to God, and disposition to disrclibh divine things ; 


*' and so am apt to lorgct warp ofV from him, and to 
** have selfish and worldly views and dcsi^is sciivilv crccpin- 
" to ni\ mind, and steal away my heart IromCiod — ;tnd so am 
" tlaily led into captivitij. O tliat sin was entirely dead — that a 
*' disposition to disrelish (iod.. top^et him. go away 
" iVom him.. live without him, and to seek content in that 
'* which is not God, w;is entirely slain ! 0, wretched nimi that 
*' J unit ruho shidl deliver mc f^\...Kom. vll. 14 — 24. 

If grace and corruption were not so contrary the one to the 
other.. diametrically opposite, tlu-re might possibly be im 
accommodation between tliem, and both quietly dwell together 
in the same he;irt ; but nov/ the\' are set for each other's ruin, 
and seek, each other's destruction — and, like fire and water, will 
never rest till one or the other be entirely destroyed. ...Gfl/. v. 17. 

If grace could be wholly killed, or corruption wholly slain, 
then the conflict of believers might wholly cease in this life ; 
but grace is immortal, like a Uvini^ spring that shall never dr)-, 
(j-ohn iv. 14.) — like a root that will ever grow, (^3Iat, xiii. 20— 
23»)and Christ is always />wro-/n^ believers, that they may ^r/«^ 
forth more fruity (JJohn xv. 2.) : So that he that is horn of God 
cannot sin us others do^ (I. John iii. 9.) — cannot sin, but against 
the grain of his heart, the gracious natme continually resisting, 
{Gal, V. 17.) ; so that it is certain, from the nature of things, 
that David and Solomon neither of them felt, in their worst 
frames, as graceless men do. Grace resisted within, {Gal. v. 
\1 ?) hating their proceedings ; nor did it cease inwardly to 
struggle and torment them, till the one cries out, My bones xvax 
old through my roaring all the day long...,Vs7\\\\\ Iii. 3 : For /;/.* 
iv/i was ever bifore his eyes....Fsa\m \x\\, 3 : And the other, 
Vanity of vanities ^allis vanity audvexation of spirit. „\e. i. 2. 

IVIany stony-ground hearers^ who were once filled with light 
and joy, do, when their religion is iill woni out, and they lie 
dead, and blind, and stupid, whole months and years together, 
ciy, the best are dead sometimes ; and have recourse to David 
and Solomon : and many a hypocrite, whose religion is onl/ 
by fits and pangs, sometimes floated as tlie streets in summer,, 


by a sudden shower, and then, in a few days, as dry as ever, de- 
ceive themselves here ; and many take natural conscience to 
be a principle of grace, and the war between that and their cor- 
ruptions to be a gracious conflict : But as all counterfeit reli- 
gions are specifically different from the true, as has been alrea- 
dy shown, so, by consi^quence, their conflict is different from 
that which believers have, in its very nature. They fight, from 
different principles, and for different ends, and about different 
things, and in a different manner, just as their religions differ 
from one another. 

11. If this be the nature of conversion and holiness, and the 
manner wherein they are wrought — and if true religion be thus 
specifically different from all counterfeits, then nwy believers be 
infallibly certain that they have true grace, A man cannot but 
perceive his own thoughts, and know what views he has, and 
be intuitively acquainted with his own designs and aims ; so 
every man knows it is with him, as to the things of this world. 
Much less is it possible that there should be so great a change 
in a man's heart and life, thoughts, affections, and actions, , as 
there is made by conversion, and yet he know nothing about it. 
For a man to be awakened, out of a state of security in sin, to 
see what a sinful, guilty, helpless, lost, undone state he is in, 
»and yet not to perceive any thing of it, evidently implies a con- 
tradiction, and so is, in the nature of things, impossible : For a 
man to be brought to see God in his infinite glory, so as to be 
disposed to love him supremely, live to him ultimately, and de- 
light in him superlatively, and yet not to perceive it, i. e. not to 
be conscious of his views and affections, also implies a contra- 
diction, and so is impossible : For a man to lose his selfish and 
worldly views more and more, from year to year, and die to 
himself, the world and sin — and for a man to live a life of com- 
munion with God, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, 
and yet not at all to perceive it, is utterly impossible ; for the 
mind of man is naturally conscious of its own exercises : So, 
from the nature of things, it is evident that grace is percepti- 
ble ; yea, in its own nature, it must be as perceptible as corrup- 

DISTINGUISHED TROM ALL COUNTERFEITS. 203 to God as love to the world. ...sorrow for sin as sor- 
row for aflliciioii.... aiming at God's glorjas aimingat our own 
honor and interest : But if true grace be, in its own nature, 
perceptible, and if it be also specifically different from all coun- 
terfeits, it is self-evident that a good man mayknow that he has 
true grace. I cannot see why, extraordinaiy cases excepted, a 
good man, who lives a life of communion with and devotedncss 
to God, and in the dltily exercise of every grace, may not come 
to know that he has grace. Surely he must be conscious of 
the exercise:^ of his own mind; for this is natural : And surely 
he may see the difference between his religion and all counter- 
feits, when the difference is so great and plain : so that, if the 
scriptures did not expressly teach us that assurance is attainable, 
it is yet evidently demonstrable from the nature of things. 

But the scriptures do plainly teach this doctrine, in II. Pet. i. 
10 — I. y'o/tn V. 13 — I. Jo/i/i ii. 3, and iii. 14, 8cc. &c. — Besides, 
all those promises, that are made for the comfort and support 
of God's people in this world, suppose that they may know that 
they are the people of God : for, unless a man knows that he is 
a child of God, he cannot rationally take comfort in those prom- 
ises which are peculiar to such. It is true, brazen hvpocrites 
will do so, but they act very presumptuousl}-. It is follv and 
madness for me to flatter myself that God has promised to do 
8o and so for me, unless I know that I am one to whom the prom- 
ises belong : For instance, it is folly and madnes'. for me to be- 
lieve that God will make all things xvork together for my good, 
according to that promise in Rom. viii.23, unless I know that / 
love God; for this promise plainly respects such, and no other : 
But there are very many precious promises made to believers 
in the word of God, which are evidently designed for their com- 
fort and support. It is certain, therefore, that God thinks that 
believers may know they are such — without which knowledge, 
all these promises cannot attain their end. 

Besides, to suppose that to be a ser\'unt of God, and a ser- 
vant of the devil. be going the v/ay to hi aven, and the way 
to hell. be travelling in the narrow way, and to be travelling 


in the broad way, are so near alike, as that even good men them- 
selves cannot possibly know them asunder, and which way they 
are going, is, on every account, intolerably absurd ; nor could 
the christian world have possibly drunk in such a notion 
but that true grace is so very rare a thing. 

I may here, by the way, just observe these three things : — 1. 
That the xvayfor a man to bioxv that he has grace^ is not to try 
himself by fallible signs, but intuitively to look into himself and see 
grace. A thousand signs of grace will not prove that a man 
has grace. There is no sign of grace to be depended upon, but 
grace itself ; for ever}' thing but grace a hypocrite may have : 
And what grace, holiness, or true religion is, I have already en- 
deavored to show. — 2. That thewaii for a man toknoxv that he 
has grace, is not to judge himself by the degree and measure of his 
religious frames and affections, or the height of his attainments ; 
but by the special nature of them : for as there is not any one 
grace but a hypocrite may have its counterfeit, so hypocrites 
may rise as high in their religion as any true believer does in his. 
Was Elijah, the prophet, jealous for the name and worship of 
the true God, and against false religion ?...So was Jehu : and he 
appeared as full of zeal, and more courageous, and did greater 
exploits. 1'here was scarcelv a more zealous saint than Elijah, 
in Old-Testament times ; but yet Jehu, that hypocrite, made a 
much greater show and noise — seemed to be fuller of zeal and 
courage, and actually did gi'eater exploits, setting aside the mir- 
acles which God wrought by Elijah, (I. Kings xviii. and xix. 
chap. — II. Kings ix. and x. chap.) And we do not read of one 
saint in all the Bible that fasted in a constant way, twice every 
week, as the Pharisee did, (^Liike xviii.) And diere is not one 
saint in all the Bible that ever did, externally and visibly, any 
higher acts of self-denial, than to give all his goods to feed the 
poor, and his body to be burnt ; and yet St. Paul intimates that a 
man may do this, and still have no grace in his heart.. ..I. Cor. 
xiii. 3 : It is no certain evidence, therefore, that a man is a good 
man, because he has a great deal of religion — more than the 
most, and full as much as the best — ^)'ca, more than any in all 


the countn-....yca,or in all the whole world ; for, in Jehu's time, 
there was not periiaps, for a while, one like him upon the face 
of the earth : A man, therefore, cannot know that he is a p;ood 
man, hy the dcyree ctfhis religion, hut only from thi- spec'uil na- 
turr of it : And wherein true religion specifcally differs from 
all counterfeits, I have already shown. — .0. Since cT'ace is, in its 
own nature, percrptiblc, and xpccifcullij different from all coun- 
terfeits, there is no need of the immediate ivitness of the spirit, in 
order to afxdl assurance. If the spirit of God does hut give us 
ft good degi-ee of grace, and enlighten our minds to understand 
the scriptures, and so to know the nature of time grace, we may 
then perceive that we have grace ; and the more grace we have, 
the more perceptible will it be, and its difference from all coun- 
terfeits will be the more plain : And if a believer may know and 
1)C certain that he has giace, without the immediate witness of 
the spirit, then such a wimessis altogether needless, and would 
be of no advantage: but God never grants his spirit to believ- 
ers, to do things needless and to no advantage ; and therefore 
there is no such thing as the immediate witness of the spirit in 
this affair : And besides, it is plain the scriptures every where 
direct us to look into ourselves, to see whether we love God and 
keep his commands — to see whether Christ, in his holy nature, 
be formed in us — to see whether the spirit, as an enlightener 
and sanctifier, dwells in us, and influences and governs us ; but 
never once directs us to look for the immediate witness of the 
•pirit, in order to know whether we have gi-ace. 

Obj. But the text says express !i/y The spirit itself beareth 
«ritness with our spirit, that we arc the children of God..../?cw. 
viii. 16. 

Ans. But the text does not in the least intimate that the spir- 
it witnesses immediately. The spirit bears tvitness ; but how ? 
The spirit makes it evident that we are the children of God ; 
but in what way ? Byivimediate revelation ? No ; the scripture 
no where tells us to look for such revelations, or lays down any 
marks whereby we may know which come from God, and 
i»hich from the dcyil. How then does the spirit make it evi- 


dent that we are the children of God, and by what witness does 
he make it appear ?...Not by telling us that we are children — 
the devil may tell h}-pocrites so ; but by making us children 
tJi the very tctnpcr of our hearts. ...hy giving to us much of a child' 
like frame of spirit towards God — a thing the devil cannot do, 
and so a thing by wliich we may certainly know. This holy, 
divine, child-like frame and temper of heart, whereby we bear 
the very image or" our heavenly father, is God's mark, which, 
more or less conspicuously, he sets upon all the lambs of his 
flock. This is the neal of the spirit^ (Eph. i. 13.) : For this is 
the earnest of cur inheritance^(ycrsQ 14.) : It \s eternal I fe be- 
gun in the soul, {John xvii. 3.) This is called the witness of the 
spirit^ because it is what the spirit works in our hearts, and that 
by which he makes it evident that we are the children of God — 
the design oi xoitnesses being to viake things evident : And, in- 
deed, this is the only distinguishing mark that God puts upon 
his children, and the only thing wherein they differ from all livp- 
ocrites — and is the only evidence the scripture directs them to 
look for and expect, and v/ithout which all other evidences are 
just good for nothing.... TI^z^ vii. 24 — 27 — John xv. 2 — I. 
jfohnn, 3, 4, and iii. 6 — 10. 

And this being the case, we may see how much out of the 
way those are, who think and say that it is a sin for them to doubt 
the goodness of their state, because of their badness, and because 
they can see no grace in their hearts : " For," say they, " that 
" would be to call God's truth and faithfulness into question.... 
" who has, by his spirit, immediately assured me of his love and 
" my salvation — -just as if the immutability of his purpose de- 
*' pendcd upon my good frames : No ; I must do as Abraham 
*' did, who, agaiiifit hope, believed in hope ; so, though I see no 
«' grace in my heart, or signs of any, yet I must believe my state 
" is good, and that I shall !)e saved. It is not my duty to look 
*' so much into my ov/n heart — I shall never be the better for 
<'tliat; but I must look to Christ, and believe, and never doubt: 
*' for the spirit of God did, at such a time, assure me of Christ's 
*' love to UK'.. .and 1 knew I was not deceived.. .and it would now 

distinouisiii:d from all counterfeits, 207 

" be a preat sin in mc to doubt — it would be giving the lie to 
" Christ and to the holy spirit." 

Huw sad u delusion are such poor sinners undir, who dare 
not believe the holy scriptures, for fear they shall sin, which ev- 
ery where assurp us, that unltss wc arc holy in heart and life, 
our faith is vain, and we in a state of condemnation ; and teach 
us that we ought to be no more confident of our good state, than 
in proportion as our sanctification is evident ! How sad it is diat 
they should attribute all their doubts to carnal reason or the dc' 
vi/y wliitii, indeed, are but the secret dictates of their own con- 
sciences, and are so agreeable to the word of God ! What a 
Jrcacfful spirit is this diat thus leads them ofl'from the word of 
God, and so blinds tlieir minds that they cannot understand 
it, nor dare believe it ! Surely it can be no other than Satan 
transformed into an angel of light. * 

• Obj. But the tcripture forbid* doubting. Mat. xlv. 31. ...O thou of little 
faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ? 

Ans. In that text, Christ dees not blame Peter for doubting his state, 
but for doubting he should be drowned. 

Obj. But Christ upbrtiided them viitb their unbelieJ'....M^rk xvi. 14. 

A NS. He did not blame them for not believing they were in a good state, 
but for not believing that he was risen from tlic dead. 

Obj. But Abraham is cwimended, in that against hope he believed in 
liope ...Horn. iv. 18. 

Ans. But the thing to be believed, and hoped for, was, that he should 
have a son, which he had good grounds to expect : So this is nothing to 
the purpose. 

Obj. But St. Paul says, we walk by faith, and not by sight... .11. Cor. v. 7. 

Ans. That is, in all theirconduct, they were governed by a realizing be- 
lief of unseen things, and not by things fcen and temporal. ...II. Cor. iv. 18. 
It was not Paul's way to lie dead whole months and years together, nor 
was he ever driven to such a strait, as to be forced to believe himself to be 
in a good state, without sufficient evidence. 

Obj. But, what is not of faith, is sin....i?oTO. xiv. 23. But doubts arise 
from unbelief. 

Ans. 1. If any -man does not believe^ that it is lawful for him todo some 
particular act, and yet ventures to do it, he sins — he acts against his own 
conscience : This is the plain sense of the text, and so this text is notliing 
to the purpose. 

2. An hypocrite's doubts are wont to arise from unbelief, i. e. from his 
not stedfastly believing the immediate revelations which he had from the 
At\\\, that bis sins are pardoned. The devil tries to kee]) him cjuiet, but 
sometimes his conscience is a little awakened, ard then lie fears and doubts 
he is deluded ; and now the deviltries to make him believe that it is a sin 
to doubt. The devil would fain make hini believe all is wdl, i. e. believe 
at a venture, without a thorough search and trial, and without sufiicient 
evidence. 3. It is 

D D 


Alas ! alas ! How does the God of this world blind the minds 
of them that believe not I Some firmly believe that there is no 
such thing as a good man's knowing that he has gi'ace ; and so 
they contentedly live along, not knowing what world they arc 
hastening heaven or to hell j but they hope their state 
is good, and hope their hope is well grounded, but hiozv not but 
that their hope is that of the hypocrite ; Yea, djey are not wil- 
ling to believe there is any such thing as knowing ^iot that would 
make them suspect that they are wrong, and that true religion 
is something they never had ; which, if it be the case, yet they 
are not willing to know it. They hide themselves in the dark ! 
They say. There is no light ! And will not believe that a good 
man may knovj that he has passed from death to life : While 
others^ from the very same principle, viz. because they hate the 
light, firmly believe that it is a sin tv doubt; and so will never, 
dare never, call their state into question, and thoroughly look 
through the matter : both are equally rotten at hcait, and so 
equally hate the light, although they take different methods to 
keep from it ; and the devil does his utmost to keep both fast 
bound where they are, 

3. It is a sin for a true believer to live so as not to have his evidences 
clear ; but it is no sin for hiin to be so honest and ini])ariial, as to doubt, 
Vrhen,in fact, his evidences are not clear : It is a sin to darken his eviden- 
ces ; but it is no sin to see that they are darkened : It is a sin for a man, 
by rioting and drunkenness, to make himself sick ; but it is no sin to feel 
that he is sick ; or, if there be grounds for it, to doubt he fhall die. \Vc 
may bring calainities upon ourselves by our sins, both outward and inward, 
and our calamities may arise from our sins ; and yet our calamities have 
not the naiure of sins, but are rather of the nature Qi'puiiisJjiitciits. It is sin, 
in believers, which lays the foundation for doubts : it is sin which is the 
occasion of their doubts ; but their doubts are not sins any the more for 
this. Some seem to suppose that every thing which is occasioned by sin, 
is sin ; but there is no truth in their supjiosition. It is not a sin for un- 
converted peojjie to think thcmsllves to be unconverted ; and yet that 
thought of themselves is occasioned by sin— for their Jjeing unconscrted is 
their sin. 

Obj. But believers arc exhorted to hold fast their confidence. ...//itTi. iii. 6. 
Atid it is said, verse 14... For we are made partakers of Clxrist, if wc hold 
the beginning of our coniidence sttdfast unto the end. 

Ans. Tliat is, their confidence that j^rsus is the Cbritt, together with % 
tru? faith in him, as is manifest from the whole context. Nor is any thing 
more absurd than to say, that men shall lie made partakers iif Christ, if they 
hold fast their confidence of their good state, which is what many a hypo- 
crite docs, and that to the very la»l....i)/uf. vii. 22-^l,ukc x'in. 25, 26, 27- 


Happy tlie imc believer, who is macle impartial by divine 
grace ! 1 1 is a recover)' to Ctocl and holiness that he is after ; 
a conhdence that his sins are pardoned, without thift^ would be 
but a poor thing. If he obtains //«.v, he gets what he wants ; 
and if not, he feels himself undone : nor can he flatter himself 
that he has obtained it, when he has not : And this he makes 
his only cn idencc of God's eternal love, and of his title to eter- 
nal glor}' ; and believes his state to be good, no farther lh;in this vii. 21—27. 

Thus I have gone through ihc Jirst j/<:f, the use of inslruc- 
fion : and thus we see how a right understanding of the low 
will set many of the important doctrines of religion in a clear 
and easy — in a scriptural and rational light. B\' the law wc may 
leam the primitive state of man, and how low wc are fallen, and 
to what we must be recovered — and so, by consequence, how 
averse we are to a recover\'....what grace we need to recover 
us — and so, by consequence, that we must be saved by sovereign 
grace, or not at all : whence the reasonableness of the saints' per- 
severance appears j and, from the whole, the nature of the chris- 
tian conflict and the attainableness of assurance are discover- 
ed. — And I v.ill conclude this nse with two remarks i 

Remark 1. If the law requires what, I think, I have proved it 
does, and a conformity to it consists in what I have before descri- 
bed, then all the other particulars do necessarily and most in- 
evitably follow : Such was the image of God in which Adam 
was created, and such is our natural depravity, and such are the 
best duties of the unregenerate, and such is the nature of conver- 
sion, and our aversion to it. Sec. ; so that, if my first principles are 
true, then the whole scheme is,b^ond dispute, true also. — And 
what are my first principles ?... .Why, that to love God with all 
our hearts, and our neighbors as ourselves, is originitlly the ve- 
ry essence of religion ; and that the grounds upon which God 
requires us so to do, are to be the motives of our obedience. 
He requires us to love him supremely, &c. because he is su- 
premely glorious and amiaWe, and because our additional obli- 
gations to him are what they arc : He requires us to love oiu- 


neighbors as ourselves, because they are what they arc, and 
stand in such relations to us. With a perfect moral rectitude 
of temper, influenced and governed by truth — by the reason and 
fitness of things, he would have us love and glorify him as God, 
i. e. as being what he is ; and love and treat our neighbors as 
being what they are ; And is not this evidently the meaning of 
the divine law ? 

Remark 2. If the law, as a rule of life, be so abated and aU 
tered, as tliat now it only requires us, merely from a principle 
of self-love and for self-ends, sincerely to endeavor to love God 
and keep his commands, and aim at his glory — and if tlie law, 
as a covenant, be disannulled, and such an obedience be substi- 
tuted in the room of perfection, as a condition of eternal life, or 
as a condition of our interest in Christ, then the contrar)' to all 
that I have laid down is most true and certain : For let the pri- 
mitive state of man be what it would, it is plain we are not en- 
tirely destitute of a conformity to this 7iew lazv, much less dia- 
metrically opposite to it in the natural temper of our minds.. ..nor 
are our best duties, while unregenerate, sin ; it is plain, con- 
version is another and a much easier thing, and that we are not 
so entirely averse to it, and do not need iiTcsistlble grace, nor 
lie at God's sovereign mercy, &c. All these things, and many 
more such-like, are plain, if the good old laru is thus altered and 
abated, and thus disannulled — if die nerv law requires no more, 
and this be the condition of eternal life, or of an interest in 
€hrist : So that, if any are disposed to disbelieve what have 
been laid down as consequences, and to build upon another fa- 
bric — if they will be consistent with themselves, they can lay 
no other foundation than this, viz. To destroy the law ; which 
I have before proved to be asimpossible as to destroy the na- 
ture of God ; because the moral law necessarily results from 
the divine perfections, and our obligations to conform to it are 
infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, as the nature and perfections 
of God himself. 

And, therefore, I think, we may conclude, with the greatest 
certainty, that this foundation, \ iz. that the law is thus abated 


and altered, is but sand; and that the fabric built upon it will not 
stand, ir the law had required us to U>vc ourselves suprcme- 
1) , and live to ourselves ultimately, and to have endeavored to 
love Go<l and our neighbors only to answer our own ends— 
tlien this sort of religion would have been right. — Did I say 
right ? No ; it would not be right, being unalterably contrary 
to the vei-}' reason and nature of things ; nor could sucii a law 
have been possiljly made by a Ciod, who loves righteousness, and 
hates iniquity : But if this was right — if this was religion, it is 
plain mankind have the root of the matter in them ; for they arc 
all naturally inclined to love themselves supremely, and live to 
diemselves ultimatel)' ; and so would not need to he born ogainy 
to have a neiv nature — the oU nature would be sufficient ; they 
would onl\ need to be convinced that it is for their interest to 
endeavor to lo\e God and do their ducy, and merely self-lo\'e 
would make them religious, in order to answer their own ends : 
But if the law ne\er has been thus abated and idtered, then this 
religion is really no religion at all — nothing but mere hypocri- 
sv, and of a nature diametrically opposite to true holiness. On- 
ly let it be clearly determined luhat the nature of the moral law 
isy and there will be a final end put to a hundred controversies. 
Here is a man, he reforms his life a little, and joins with the 
church — he pra\"s in his family, and sometimes in his closet — 
and, for the most part, it may be, he is honest in his dealings, 
and civil and sober in his behavior ; and this is his conversion 
....this is his religion : And now he pleads that conversion is a 
gradual thing, because his was such — and that a man cannot 
know when he was converted, because that is the case with him 
— ihat there is no need of irresistible grace, because he knows 
that it is a pretty easy thing to cOTivert as he has done — and he 
hates the doctrine of divine sovereignty, because he never felt 
any need of a sovereign grace to save him — and he holds fall- 
ing from grace, because his religion is as easily lost as gotten : 
But does he know that he has any grace, after all ? No, no, that 
is a thing (says he) none can know : lie believes the holy spir- 
it assisti him ; but he is not sensible of his influences, or of any 


help from him, aay more than if he had none : He believes he 
loves God, and is a true saint at heart ; but he does not feel any 
more love to God, or grace in his heart, than if there was none 
tliere — and the reason is, because there is none : But being se- 
cure insin, and it being for his wordly interest to make a pro- 
fession of religion, he now sets up for a good man : For xvith^ 
out the law sin is dcacl^ and so he is alive without the law...., 
Rom. \u. 8, 9. And now those doctrines and that preachmg 
wl'.ich are calculated to detect his hypocrisy, and awaken him out 
oriiis security, he hates and cries out against : And if any seem 
to experience any thing further in religidn than he has, for that 
very reason he condemns it all for delusion : But he pretends 
lilightily to plead up for morality and good works, though, in 
tnith, he is an enemj- to all real holiness. This is the course 
C!?many ; but some are more sincere, and strict, and conscien- 
•tk)us in their way. 

But let men be ever so sincere, strict, and conscientious in 
their religion, if all results merely from self-love, the slavish 
fears of hell, and mercenary hopes of heaven, there is not, in all 
their religion, the least real, genuine conformity to the moral 
law ; — it isallbut an hypocritical, feigned show of love and obe- 
dience ; — it is not the thing whicjj the law requires, but some- 
thing of a quite different nature ; unless we lay aside God's old 
and everlasting law, and invent a new, abated, altered law, which 
shall declare that to be right, which, in the nature of things, is 
unalterably wrong ; and by such a law, such a religion will pass 
for genuine : • But it is sad, when we are driven to invent a 7iero 
law^ to vindicate our religion and our hopes of heaven, since, at 
the day of judgment, we siialllind the o/tZ/orf tobeinfuUforce. 

I am sensible that old objection will be always rising — " But 
" it is not just that God should require of us more than we can 
*' do, and liu-n ilircatcn to damn us for not doing of it :" Just 
as if God may not require us to lo\c him with all our hearts, 
merely because we are not suited with him; and just as if we 
were not to blaine for being of such a bad temper and disposi- 
tion, mercl}- because we are thoroughly settled in it, and have 


no heart to !>c othcnvisc ; just as if the worse qny one is, the 
less he is to blame — than which nothln»{ can be more aljsurvh — 
Tnilv, I cannot but ihiiik,that, by this, wc arc so far fromiieing 
excused, that, even merely for this, we <lcscr\e eternal danmOf 
tion : For what can be much worse than be so tlioroughly seU 
tied and fixed in such a bad temper of mind ? — lint, no.M ith- 
standing all that I have offered to clear this point heietoforc, I 
will add, diat if it is not just for God to require any more c/f \is 
llum we am do, i. c. an\- more than we have, not only a luitura!, 
but a moral power to perform* — then these things will nL-cesjia- 
rily follow ; 

[• 'Xj*!' has been questioned by some whether the Author has expressed 
himself on this part of his subject with his usual pcr-j)icuity and correct- 
ness. If, l>y rcq. tiring " more than ^^c- have natural or moral power ♦o per- 
forin," hf iiieuiu only that more W3.% required, or was necessary, to j)rocure 
the divine favor, than we have natural strength or moral dir.positk'DS t» 
perform, and that God might justly suspend liis favor until this v.iiS in 
some way accomjjlished, his reasoning may j)irlia])S lie correct : But \i ht 
meant, as his words seem to import, that God might justly require ofvs, 
as a condition of his favor, what ve have neither natural nor moral jiow- 
cr to perform, and, by requiring this, lay us under an obligation to perfonu 
a natural impossibility, theit his reasoning is evidently unsound and incon- 
clusive : For imist not God's law be founded in the reason and nature of 
things, and his demands, in every instance, be ])roportioned, not indeed to 
the moral, but to tlie natural power and capacity of his creatures ? The 
Author is himself a strenuous advocate for tl'.is jnijiciple, throughout the 
greater j)art of thiswork. In page 95ih, he remarks that " all the pexfer- 
" tion which God requires of any of his creatures, angels or men, is a 
♦' measure of knowleilge and love bearing an exact proportion to their nat- 
" ural powers ?'' — But why in exact prajjorliim to their /latiiral fimicrs, if, in 
the natirre of the case, it was not imposaible that their oblig;itions should 
ever transcend these powers ? 

The Author appears to have been led into this mistake by supposing that 
\ hatever was necessary to our salvation, God inight justly propose to us, 
and recjuire of us, as a condition of our salvation : Bui is *iot this whcdly 
to overlook th-j circumstances of the case r Could an offer of salvation, up- 
on any conditions, have been made to fallen man, without the intervention 
of a Savior I The language \v liich God must necessarily have held to him, 
in these circumstances, was that of « righteous Judge, condeimning him to 
everlasting death. A -law which could give life, or even propose life, was 
not admissible ; and it was not admissible for this jjlain reason, that no 
terms could be named which would be proper for God to accept, and which, 
at the same time, the sinner was naturally able to pcrfovm. It is believed, 
therefore, tlrat we should need both a Redeemer and Sunrtilitr, although 
ii were not just for God to require of us more than we have natural power 
to faltil. — We should need a Kedeemer to make an atonement for us ; — a 
^ ark which we could never accomplish, nor be pjquircdto accomplish our- 
selves : Wc should need a Sanctilier, to renew our hearts, and restore us 
to the image of God — not indeed because wc have no natural power to per- 
forin this work ; for we have tbis power, and God requites us to exercise 


1 . That there rva'i not the least need of Christ's dying for lis at 
our Redeemer : For, did we need him to make any atonement 
or satisfacion for our sins ?,.. Surely no : for God could not just- 
ly require of us rnorc satisfaction for our sins than we were able 
to make ; for that would be to require more than we can do. 
— Did we need him to purchase the divine favor and eternal 
life for us ?... Surely no : for God could not justly require any 
more of us, as a condition of his favor and eternal life, than we 
ourselves were able to do. — Did we need him to purchase an 
abatement of the law ?... Surely no : for God could not, in his 
law, justly require of us more than we could do ; and we did 
not need to have the law brought down lower than this : Well, 
therefore, might St. Paul tell the Galatians that f righteousness 
came by the knVy then Christ is dead in rcr/n....Gal. ii. 21 : For 
if our doing as well as we can, in the sense before explained, is 
all that righteousness that God can justly require, this alone most 
certainly would be every way sufficient for our salvation : nor 
did we need a Savior any more than the angels in heaven ; for 
we have just as much power to do as as -well as rue can, as they 
have to do as rvell as they can : To say the contrar)-, is a contra- 
diction in express terms. 

2. Nor was there the least need that the holy spirit should be 
sent into the world, to grant any inward assistance, to enable us 
to do our duty : For we had a full and perfect power to do all 
our duty, without any such assistance : for God could not just- 
ly require of us any more than we could do ; and everj' one is 
able to do what he can, without any assistance. 

So that, if this principle be true that God cannot Justly require 
cfus any yuorc than 7ve can do, it is plain we neither needed u 
Redeemer nor a Sanctifier : so that all the infinite pains which 
God has taken for our redemption and salvation, has been un- 
necessary and fruitless. To do as well as we could, was all 

it — hut I)Lcaiise we are totally depraved, and shall never employ our natu- 
ral fai ultics in returning unto Goil, until moved to it by the ojjcrations of 
his holy spirit. 

It will We seen that the exccjjtions taken against the Author's rcasoninfj 
in this place, aj)j)ly so far only as the question of natura/ power is concerned] 


that woi.kl have been needful ; and dws is siili as much rt qui- 
red as i-vcr : So that \vc arc just where we sliould have been, it 
nothing had ever been done lor us : So that this notion entirc- 
Iv undermines and subverts die whole christian reHgion^ in sup- 
jx)sin5 that all the extraordinaiy and wonderful pro\ision diere- 
in made for die salvation of sinners was needless ; for if all was 
needless, then the whole is perfectly incredible — foritlsincred- 
ii)le to suppose Uiat God would do so miichy and tnich great things, 
when there was no need of it : so that this notion leads direct- 
ly to infidelity : Yea, if this principle be true, we mav be cer- 
tain that the gospel is full of deceit ; for the gospel ever)' where 
supposes sinners to have been in a helpless^ undone state, and 
that they might jusdy have been left so, and perished forever : 
and it ever)' where representi it as owing entirely to the free 
grace and infinitely great goodness of God, that he sent his Son 
into the world to be a Savior, and the hols'- spirit to be a Sanc- 
tifier i all xchic/i, upon this principle, is notoriously false : for 
we were not in a hcipless^ imdone condition ; being able, of our- 
selves, to do all xlv.xt God could justly require of us, in order 
to eternal life. Nor did we need to be beholden to God for 
his grace and goodness, his Son or his spirit ; being able, of 
ourselves, to do all that which he could jusdy require at our 
hands : Yea, upon this principle, the gospel offers the hir/iat 
ajf'ront to human nature, in that it supposes us to be sucli vile, 
helpless, undone, guilty wretches, when, indeed, and in truth, 
we are not : And, therefore, so long as men really believe this 
notion, they cannot possibly but hate the doctrines of the gCi- 
pel, and oppose them : and so, in fact, it has al\va\s been. 

To conclude, therefore, since it is so evident from the /a?;*, 
and 50 evident from iha gospel^ that we arc sinful, guilty, help- 
less, undone creatures, had not we better give in to it, and come 
down, and lie in the dust, before the Lord, who knows what 
we are, whether we will own it or no ? Had we not better own 
his law to be holy, just, and good, and acknowledge that we lie 
at his sovereign mercy, and be willing to be beholden to free 
grace, through Jesus Christ, for our salvation ; since we must 

E E 


do SO, or never be saved ? What ^vill it profit us to fly in his 
face, and say, It is not just for him to require more than we can 
do, and then damn us for not doing ? when all that he requires, 
is only that we love God with all our hearts^ and our neighbor 
as ourselves^ which, in the nature of things, is infinitely reason- 
able — and when all ourimpotency arises only from our sinful- 
ness, and so, instead of extenuating our iaiilt, only discovers 
how sinful we are. Surely, since all the world stand guilty be- 
fore God, really guilty, and are so accounted by him, we all 
had best to stop our mouths, and own the sentence just, by which 
we stand condemned, while it is a time of mercy : for who can 
tell but God may. pity us ? 

There is but one way now left to evade the force of what has 
been said. To a strict demonstration, the law is not, and can- 
not be abated : there is now no way, therefore, but to deny that 
there ever xvas such a lazv. But then, if God be what I suppose 
him ?o be, to a demonstration the law must be such to» : tliere is 
no way, therefore, but to deny that there is any such G od ! Well, 
but if God be not what I suppose, what is he P Why, we may 
»ee the whole scheme, by the following objection,n\ a few words. 

Obj. God is a being of infinite understanding a7id almighty 
power, perfectly disposed to seek the good and happiness of his 
creatures as his last end. lie loves virtue, and rervards it^ 
merely because it tends to make them happy : He hates vice, and 
punishes it, merely because it tends to make them miserable : All 
he has in view, in his commands and prohibitions — in his promt' 
ses andtlireatenings, is the good, and nothing but merely the good ^ 
of his creatures ; yea, he esteems things to be virtuous, ?nerely be- 
cause they tend to make us happy... .and vicious, merely because 
they tend to make us miserable : And 7iow, therefore, if roe look 
upon things as he does, and proseaute (he same end — fwe love 
and practise virtue with a sincere vietv to our ozvn happiness, as 
our LAST END, wc do all that God woidd have us do. And hovj 
can we, if rue weigh things, but most heartily and sincerely love 
so good a God... .so kind a father, who so dearly loves us, andsQ 
tenderly seeks our good ? 


An3. True, if God were \ enly stu:h an one, x\\c most wicked 
man in \\\c world could not but love him. Sclf-h)vc would 
make it natural. I' .v en pitl/liam'i love those who luvc them ; 
and are good to those who are kind to them.... J/^r. v. Did 
men Hrmly believe God to be such an one, they could not, in- 
deed, possibly be at enmity against him. Self-love would not 
admit of it : Men would not need imy irracc to make them luvc 
God : NatUf. would make tliem love iiim : They could not 
but love long as they love themselves. And now, if 
God, indeed, be such an one, I readily own there is no truth 
in my whole scheme ; but, from first to last, it is all a mistake : 
for it is altogetlier built upon a supposition that there is a God, 
of a temjK'r essent'aUti Jijf'crent. 

But then I woulil -jutry, if God be such an one. ...if he aims 
only at his creature;;' iiappiness, why does he ever inflict misery 
upon them ? If he means only to nvikc them happy, why does 
he ever make them miserable ? Why did he drown the old 
xvorld,...h\XYn. 6o^/«....and why does he ckimn sinners to all 
eternity ? 

It cannot be liecause jw.yf/ce rcqiiirefi it : for, upon this scheme, 
justice does not require it : For, upon this scheme, sin docs, in 
strict justice, desene no punishment at all. 

A crime deserves no punishment any farther than it is bUim«*- 
worthy : A crime is bbme-worthy, no farther than we aie un- 
der ohligntions to do otherwise. According to their sclwuie, 
all our obligations to he virtuous result merely from its tenden- 
cy to make us happy : * Upon dieir scheme, therefore, a sinner 

{.* (^ The *c/-enu? whicU the Author here opposes, is that which foimrls 
the obligation to virtue, solely upon the tendency of virtue itself to proinote 
individual happiness — a scheme of perfect seltishness, andpreg^iant with ail 
the absurd consequences wliich the Author has endeavored to attach to it. 

There is another theory distinct from this, and not liable to the same 
objections, which founds our obligations to virtue upon its tendency to pro- 
more public happiness, or the good of God's creatures, collectively consid- 
ered. This theory, it will be recollected, the Author opposes in a note, page 
31st, where he more than intimates that our obligations to virtue arise, not 
from tbe mere will of G<kI, nor from cmy tendency in virtus to promote cur 
own happiness, or the happiness of others, but wholly from tbe intrinsic 
"nioral fitness of things, considered absolutely. But is there no difficulty iu 
conceiving of the moral Jitnets or unjitnet* of things, aside from their ob- 


is to blame for his sins, merely because sin is cross to his own 
happiness, and tends to make him miserable ; — there IS no oth- 
er evil in sin but this. This is the only reason why God hates 
it — is set against it, and disposed to punish it : This is the only 
reason why he would have them avoid it ; and this is the onty 
reason they are to blame for it. No man is blame-worthy for 
sin any farther than he was under obligations to the contrary. 
All our obligations to virtue, according to them, arise from its 
natural tendency to make us happy : and, therefore, all the evil 
of sin must arise from its natural tendency to make us misera- 
ble : This misery, therefore, is exactly equal to the evil of sin ; 
for cf//the evil of sin arises from it, or rather cotisists in it : This 
misery is all the evil of sin ; and this misery is, therefore, all 
that renders sin blame-worth)-, i. e. I am to blame for taking a 
course that tends to make me miserable : And why ?.. ..Mere- 
ly because it tends to make me miserable ; for that reason, and 
for no other : Therefore, I am so much to blame, and no more, 
for what I do, than according to the degree of its tendency to 
make me miserable : This misery, therefore, which naturally 
results from what I do, is equal to my blame — and is, therefore, 
the xvons-ty and all that I deserve ; for no crime deserves to be 
punished, any farther than it is blame-worthy.* And from the 

vious tendency to promote or hinder the happiness of the moral world ? 
True, it may be said that our perceptions of right ■a.nd'ivrong are wholly ilis- 
tinct from those oi happiness and tniseiy : But is it certain that they are 
wholly distinct from our perceptions of the natural tendency oi right and 
ixroiig to produce these different ends ? AVhy does it appear r/^/jf to do jus- 
tice Between man and man, but because public and private happiness ev- 
idently require it ? 

Perhaps, however, upon a strict enquiry, it would appear that our obli- 
gations to virtue rest not wholly upon any single principle ; but are ground- 
ed upon all those considerations .\\'\\\c\\, according to various schemes, may 
be justly admitted as proper motives to virtuous action : such as the moral 
fitniss of things — the temUncy of virtue — the glory of God, and the authority 
of his law. To reiiucc all to a single j)rinciple, as dillerent theorists have 
done, is not only to exclude some motive wliicli ought umjuestionably to in- 
fluence our conduct, but to hold up those which are confused, if not unjust, 
instead of such as arc clear and determinate.] 

• On J. " But are xvenot, according to their scheme, under obligations retult- 
" i'^yjiom the authority rt/n/ command ij Cihl .?"' 

Ass. We are, according to their scheme, under no obligations to regard 
the authority and command of God at all ; only, and mcrel), and purely, 


whole, to a dcmonslration, it follows, t!i:it, upon their scheme, 
sin descnos no inllictcci pain or misery, by way ofpiinishnunt, 
over and above ilic pain or misery which results necessarily from 
itH own nature : And now, if sin does not deserve any such 
punishment, then justice does not require the Governor of the 
world to intlict any suth upon any of liis ci catures, though ev- 
er so sinful ; for justice does not require hiin to inflict a pun- 
ishment iluii is not at all deserved — ^sea, rather it seems cruel- 
t}' so to do. If, therefore, justice did not require it, why d'ul 
God drown the o!d worU^ and burn Sodom — and why docs he 
damn sinners to ail eternity ? 

Certainly he did not a/ «: r;/ //ja>^03<7 when he drowned the 
oU 7vorU and burnt SoJom ; and certainly he cannot aim at ■■;in- 
jiers* good \\\ iluir eternal damnation. There are some Calam- 
i'vics in this life, which Ciod might be supposed to send upon 
his creatures for their good ; anil indeed, all things considered, 
they arc well adapted to do theni good ; yea, and are all made 
to work together for good to them that love God, and mav be 
nuinbi red among tlu ir mercies : But v;hat shall we say when 
God drowns a whole world, burns up several cities, and damns 
to all eternity millions of his creatures — yea, and all for noth- 
ing, when tliey deserved no ill at his hands, not the least ! Where 
is his justice noxv ? Yea, xuhere is his goodness ? Or what docs 
he mean ? What docs he intend ? 

Certainly he cannot intend to deal so severely with some 
of his poor creatures, who never deserved any ill at his hands, 
nicrely for the goodofolhtrs^ to fright, and warn, and deter diem 
from vice ; for this would be to do evil that good might come — 

because it is for our interest so to do — as themselves acknowledge. 

Obj. " But are vie not, according to tbem, obliged to have regard to our 
neighbor's •ueljare ? 

Ass. Only, merely, purely because it is for our own interest to do so : 
for. according to them, all our obligations to practise any virtue, arise, ori- 
ginally, only from its being for our own intertst. The language of such a 
practice plainly is, that there is not one being in the whole system worth 
rei;;arding, but myself: — lam, and best c'.et vie there is no other ! I will regard 
iioiK'. but just to unswcT my own ends ; and so, really and strictly, regard 
njnc but mviclf : This is a religion that wiilsuir ;i.-ii«rf/ and, in this sense, 
may justly hi caUednatunzl reHgion. 


yea, this would be the way rather that good might never come ; 
for how could any of his creatures or subjects heartily love him 
or like his conduct, while thej- behold millions of their fellow- 
creatures suffering, for nothing at all, such infinite pains under 
his hands ? Where is his justice ? would they all cry : Anc/ 
where is his goodness ? They would hate him, and flee fron\ 
him, and dread a government so infinitely tyrannical. Indeed, 
to inflict a proper punishment, in case of just desert, is a good 
thing — tends to maintain government, and make men afraid of 
sin, and stand in awe of the great Law-giver and Judge of the 
world : Yea, it is a beautiful conduct, and tends to make God 
appear amiable in the eyes of all holy beings. ...i^a;. xix. 1 — 6. 
liut to afilict and torment poor creatures, who do not at all de- 
serve it, and that forever, cannot possibly answer any good end ; 
but, of necessity, must promote athousandbad ones, when, all the 
time, the true state of the case is publicly known and understood 
throughout all God's dominions. It is just as if a father, who 
has ten children, should tie up five every Monday morning, and 
whip them almost to death for nothing in the world but to make 
the rest love him, and be good and obedient children : And 
would they love him any the more for this ? Yea, they could 
not but hate so cruel a tyrant : Now, dierefore, if their scheme 
be true, why did God drown the old xvorld^ and burn Sodom ? 
And why does he damn sinners to all eternity I 

Yea, if sin deserves no inflicted punishment, as, upon their 
scheme, it does not, why does God ever once inflict the least, die 
vei'y least punishment for it in all his dominions ? And that 
which, though not, in its own nature, more unaccountable, yet is 
more surprising, why has God, all along, from the beginning 
of the world, been inflicting such a dreadful train of punishments 
for sin ? Wli)' did (^od turn the angels out of heaven for their 
first sin, and doom them to an eternal hell, when they did not 
at all deserve it ? "Why did God threaten Adam with death in 
case of disobedience ? — Wliy is dc;uh said to be the wages of 
sin ? — Why did God cause the earth to open and swallow up 
' Korah and his company ? — Why did God cause the carcases ot 


aix hundred thousand to fall in the wildorncss ? — ^\'hy did God 
strike I' zza tUad ? And why a thousand more thin^rs which 
have happened in the sight of the world ? Surely it caniu.t be 
for our good io be struck dead and sent to hell ; and surely it 
ciuinotbc ioT xhc good of ar.ij in all God's world, that sha'l sec 
or ever hear of it, when, all the while, it is publicly known 
that we deserve no ill at God's iiands — no, not the least. 

And now, after all, to torment us in hell forever, for nothing 
In the world, where the jire shall never be qttcnclied^ m^d the 
■worm shall tiroer die ; yea, and to ap|K)int a day of jud^Tiicnt, 
under a pretence of doing nothing but strict justice ; ami to 
summon all worlds together, to see and hear, to the end that 
Ids impartiality and justice might appear to all, when, all the 
while, he kuo\v s, and all the world knows, that his poor crea- 
tures deserve no ill at his hands — no, not the least ! What can 
lie yncan 7 

Yea, and that which is a great de;J worse than all, that I c\en 
«hudJer to think of it, he not only makes a law to punish sin- 
ners eternally in hell, when there was no reason for it, but puts 
it in execution upon his poor creatures who do not descr^•e it ; 
but, having one only Son, of equal glory with himself, he de- 
livers hira to death, in the room and stead of sinners ; pretend- 
ing that sin was so bad a thing, that without the shedding of 
blood there could be no remission^ and therefore his own Son must 
die, to the end he inight he just^xvliile he justified the sinner that 
should believe in him — while, all the time, if their scheme is 
true, he knew, and all the world will know, sooner or later, that 
sin never deserved the least punishment at his hands ! 

To conclude, therefore, if Ciod be what they suppose, I grant 
the scheme 1 have laid do\vn is not right ; and it is equalh- 
evident tiiat tlie Bible is not right neither : for the Icnv and the 
gospel^ the Old Testament and the Neiv^ c\ciy where suppose, 
and take it for granted, that sin is an infinite evil — deser\c*s the 
wrath and curse of God... all the miseries of this life, and death 
itself, and the pains of hell forever ; — the hnv threatens all this. 
According to the gospel^ Christ has died to redeem us from all 


this, as v.hat wt justly deserve : The Biblc^ therefore, iu a >vord, 
supposes we deserve it all ; but their scheme supposes we do 
not. The God that made the Bible hi\s no doubt of it; he 
made his lazv upon this ground, and upon this footing he gave his 
Son to die....has appointed a day of judgment, and prepared a 
place of torment — a lake off re and brhnstcne : but their God is 
of quite another mind.. ..can see no such iniinitc evil in sin — yea, 
no evil at all in it, but what results from its tendency to make us 
miserable : Their God^ therefore, is not the God of Israel^ nor 
the God that made the Bible ; and, therefore, is no God....\s noth- 
ing but an image framed in their ov/n fancy, suited to their 
own hearts. 

Besides, then idea ofGodh contrary not only thus to the gen- 
eral tenor of scripture, but also to many plain and express dec- 
larations. (1.) It is manifest that God does not make the hap- 
piness of his creatures his last end^ from Exod. ix. IG — Numb* 
xiv. 13 — 21 — Lev. x. 3 — Psalm cvi. 8 — Ezeh. xx. throughout- 
Ezek. xxxvi. 21, 22, 23, and xxxviii. 23, and xxxix. 6, 7, 13, 
21, 22 — Rom. ix. 22, 23 — Rom. xi. 36 — Rev. iv, 11. (2.) It 
is manifest that God does not requii-e his creatures to love and 
obey him merely because it tends to make them happy so to 
do, from Exod. xx. 2 — Lev. xix. 2 — Psalm xxix. 2, and xcvi. 
4, 8, and cxlviii. 13 — I. Cor. vi. 20. (3.) It is manifest that 
God does not threaten and punish sin merely because it tends 
to make his creatures miserable, from I. Sam. ii. 29. 30 — II. 
Sam. xii. 7—U-^Psalm li. 4— Mai. i. 6, 7, 8, 14. 

But to conclude ; — how sad and dreadful a thing will it be, 
for poor sinners, when they come to die, and enter into the 
world of spirits, there to find that the Gotl they once loved and 
trusted in, was nothing but an image framed in their own fancy ! 
They hated the God of Israel^ and hated his law, and therefore 
would not believe that God or his laxu were indeed what they 
were. I'hey were resolved to have a God and a laiv more to 
tlieir minds. How dreadful will their disappointment be ! How 
dreadful their surprise ! They would never own they were en- 
emies to God ; now they see their enmity was so great as to 


make them rcsolutclv, notwithstanding the plainest evidence, 
even to deny l»ini to he- uhat he was : And how righteous will 
the ways oltlic Lord appear to be, in that he gave such over to 
strong delusions to believe a lie, who did not love, and would 
not Ix-licve the truth, but had pleasure in unrij^htcousness ?.... 
II. Tlifn. ii. 10,11,12: So, the 6V/i///i' ;w//C'/i.v, not liking to re- 
tain (iod in their knowledge, were given over to reprobate minds, 
and left every nation to make such a Go^ as best pleased them- 
selves. .,./?5wj. i. — But it is time to proceed to the next un; 


Use II. Which may be of examinatioji. What has been 
said mav serve to clear up, to real saints, their gracious state, and 
may aHord matter of conviction to others. 

And here I would take the humble believer in his element, 
that is, in his closet, where he retires from the noise and busi- 
ness of the world — where he loves to be alone, to read the Bi- 
ble.. meditate on the perfections of God, and think of his 
works and ways — where he mourns, and prays, and loves God, 
;ind gives up himself to him : In a serious hour of sweet retire- 
ment, when }ou are most yourself and your thoughts most about 
^'OU, I would enquire, What are your views ? And -what is the 
inward temper ofyoiir mind ? And horu do you live P And xvhat 
is it that habitiuilly influences you in your daily conduct P 

Do you incw God ? Do you see him to be such an one as 
he really is — even such an one as the scriptures represent him 
to be ? And do you account him infinitely glorious and amia- 
ble in being such an one ? And do you begin to love him with 
all your heart ? Do you esteem him so as to exult in his su- 
premacy and absolute sovereignty ? And so will seek his glorc , 
and value his honor and interest, as to give up yourself to live 
to him ; and so delight in him, as to choose him for }our pres- 
ent and everlasting portion ? True, your remaining blindness 
and ignorance is ver)' great : but do you not feel it, and groan 
^nder it ;is your burden, and hate yourself for it as your sin, la- 
menting the sottishness of vour heart, that vou should be s» 

' F F 


senseless and brutish, after so many outward advantages and in- 
ward helps, and amidst such clear manifestations made of God 
and of his infinite glor}^, in his word, and in all his works and 
ways ; and feel that you are wholly to blame for the stupidity 
and unteachableness of your heart — ready to say with him of 
old, So foolish am /, aiid ignorant^ lam as a beast before thee ?..t 
Psalm Ixxiii. 22. Your disesteem of God, and unconcerned- 
ness about his honor and interest, is great, and you have still a 
disposition to hate to live upon God only, without any thing 
else to take comfort in, as the portion of your soul ; and so you 
are inclined to forget God.. forsake him. depart, and 
go away, and fall in love with something else, and seek another 
resting-place, and something else to take comfort in : But do 
you not feel this your remaining want of conformity to God's 
law, and native contrariety to it ? And do you not hate it, and 
hate yourself for it ? Do you not groan under it, and lament itj 
and watch, and pray, and fight against it, feehng the infinite 
sinfulness of it ? saying. The law is holy ^just^ and good ; but I 
am carnal, sold under sin : wretched man that I am!. ...Rom* 
vii. 14,24. 

And what are the growids of your love to God, and from 
what motives is it that you are influenced to love him ? Does 
God, indeed, appear infinitely great, glorious, and amiable in 
being what he is ? And do you love him because he is just such 
an one ? Do you love to meditate his incomprehensibly glori- 
ous perfections, and wonder and adore ? Are you glad that he 
knows all diings, and can do every thing ? Are the various man- 
ifestations of divine wisdom, in the monil government of the 
world, glorious in your eyes ? Docs it suit your heart that God 
governs the world as he does ? Do you love that the pride of 
all flesh should be brouglit low, and the Lord alone be exalted ? 
Are you glad that God lo\ cs righteousntss and hates iniquity 
as he does ; and do you heartily approve the strictness of his 
law in the matter of your duty, and the severity then of against 
the least sin ? And are you sweetly sensible of the infinite good* 
ness of God, and of his truth and faithfulness ? And does God 


appear infinitely glorious because he is just what he is ? And 
is this the primary' founthition ofyour love?...Ina word, do you 
Rcc him oi ihf grcai Creator, Preserver, and Governor oi the 
world — :\s the Hedeciner, Sanctifier, and Savior of his people, 
as he has dms reve;Ued himself, by his word, and in his works ; 
and <!(> you love him for being what he is ? And do you also 
feci the powerful influence of those supei-added obligations you 
ai e under to love him ? — In odier cases, when we love an}' thing, 
we know whv we love it : so, also, do believers know why they 
love the Lord tluir Ciod. 

And docs it not appear to you infinitely reasoyiabk that you 
should love God with all your heart — that }OU should be wholly 
his, and wholly for him, and make him your all, while you be- 
hold his infuiiLe glor}'....his complete alUsufticiency... .his origi- 
nal, entire right to you, and absolute authority over you ? And 
docs not his law, in requiring you to do so, appear to be infinite- 
ly right, perfectly holy, just, and good.. ..worthy to stand in full 
force forever, unabated and unaltered ? And do you not see 
that the least want of conformity to this law, or transgression 
of it, is infinitely vile, and that a perfect conformity thereto de- 
ser\es no dianks ? And do you not feel yourself wholly to blame 
for your not being altogether such as the law requires ? Hypo- 
crites are generally ven,- ignorant of the law, in its true mean- 
ing and strictness ; and so are ignorant of their want of confor- 
mity unto it, and of their inward contrariety to \x.,,..Rom. vii. 8, 9 
— for otherwise all hypocrites would know certainly that they 
have no grace. But yet hypocrites, at least many of them, 
know something about the law, and their want of conformity 
to it, and something alxiut their inward contrariety^ to it ; and 
hence may complain of the blindness of their minds, the dead- 
ness ol their hearts, .ind of their pride and worldliness : but no 
hypocrite is hearuly sensible that the law is holy, just, and good 
in requiring perfection ; and tluithe himselfis entirely to blame 
for not being perfectly holy, and that the fault is wholly his. 
Some will say, '' I desire to love God, and to aim at his gloty, 
" imd do my duty ; but no man is, or can be perfect : and God 



" does not require more of us than we can do :" And so they 
think themselves excusable, and are not sensible that it is infi- 
nitely vile in them not to love God with all dieir hearts. Oth- 
ers will say, " I can do nothing of myself : it is Christ that must 
" do all. I desire to love God, but I cannot : It is the spirit 
" that must fill ray heart with love, and God is the sovereign 
" dispenser of his grace ; so that, if I am dead, and dull, and 
" senseless, and stupid, I cannot help it :" And so they also 
think themselves excusable, and are not sensible that it is infi- 
nitely vile in them not to love God with all their hearts. But 
now, how stands the case with you ? Have you any secret way 
of excusing yourself ? Or do you see that the law is holy, just» 
and good, and diat you only are to blame, wholly to blame, and 
altogether without excuse ; yea, and exceedingly vile, for all 
your blindness and deadness, and for every thing wherein you are 
not just what the law requires you to be ? It is this which makes 
believers sensible of their desert of damnation, all their lives 
long, and loathe and abhor themselves before the Lord : iind it 
is this which causes them more and more to see their need of 
Christ and free grace, and admire and prize the glorious gospel. 
Ozuretched man that I am ! Who shall deliver me ? I thank Godf 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.... Kom. vii. 24, 25. 

And do you begin to be of a disposition really to love your 
neighbor as yourself P Are your affections under the govern- 
ment of a spirit of disinterested impartiality, so that you are 
disposed to value yourself only for those properties in you that 
are good and excellent, and only in proportion to their worth 
and excellence ; and, by this rule, to esteem your neighbors, 
your friends, and your foes, and all men ? And do you hate a 
contrary disposition in you ? And is your heart full of love, and 
kindness, and benevolence, wishing well to all, seeking the 
good of all, and even grieved when your enemies arc in ad- 
versity ? 

And to conclude ; — does love to God and to your neighbor 
j.;ovcrn you in your thoughts, allec lions, and actions, and daily 
influence you to li\ c to God, and do good in the world ; so 


that now you arc not your own, but given up to God, to do his 
will, seeking his glor) ? A holy life docs ;is naturallv proceed 
from ii holy heart, as a stream docs from a living fountain. 

Once you was darkness : But arc you now light in the Lord? 
Once, as to right spiritual views of CWj(l,...your neighbor, or 
yourseU....of this world or the next, you had none ; — you wai 
blind. .«.your understanding was darkened ; and so your appre- 
hensions were wrong, and you loved your wrong apprtncnsions, 
....and took pleasure in error, falshood, and sin.. ..and hated the 
light — hated truih and duty ; — once you was wholly devoid 
ol the divine image, and destitute of all good — yea, and ) ou was 
whollv averse iVom God, and full of ;dl evil : And '1;.l you ev- 
er see and feel this to be )our state ? And have \ou, by divine 
grace, betn recovered out of it ? Have you been efiectually 
taught that your light was darkness, and your knowledge igno- 
rance, and been made sensible of the blindness of )our mind ? 
And have you learnt that all your seeming goodness was coun- 
terfeit, and that in you did dwell no good thing — yea, that your 
seeming goodness was real wickedness, in thut your heart was 
in perfect contrariety to God and his law ? Has divine light shi- 
ned in vour heart, and your native darkness, as well as contrac- 
ted blindnesss,been dispelled from your soul ; so that now your 
views of God — of your neighbor and yourself — of this world 
and the next, are right, and your apprehensions according to 
truth ? And has the truth made you free ? Do you now look 
upon God, in some measure, according to the capacity of a crea- 
ture, as he does upon himself, when he takes upon him the char- 
acter of most high God, supreme Lord, and sovereign 
Governor of the whole world, and says, lam the Lore/.... ihat 
is my namey and be aides me there is no other God? And do you 
see it is infinitely fit that all the world should love, worship, 
and adore him ? Do you now look upon your neighbors in 
some measure as God does, when he commands you to love 
them as yourself; and so see that it is perfectly right that you 
should ? Aird do you look upon yourself, and every thing in 
this world, in some measure as God does, when he commands 


you to deny yourself, and forsake all things for his sake ; and 
see that it is most fit and reasonable to die to yourself and to 
this world, and give up yourself to God, to love him, and live 
to him, and delight in him forever? And do you understand 
tliat the things which are seen are temporal, and that the things 
which are unseen are eternal ? And do all possible troubles in 
tlie ways of God, in some measure, appear only as light afflic- 
tions, which are but for a moment, and not w orthy to be com- 
pared with the glory that shall be revealed ? Do you thus know 
the truth. ...and has the truth made you free fi-om your old ser- 
vitude ; and are you effectually influenced and governed by 
these views and apprehensions, and this sense of things, to bring 
forth fruit to God, an hundred-fold, or sixty-fold, or at least 
thirt)-fold ? For divine knowledge is eflicacious, and the holy 
and divine effects and fruits are always equal to the degree of 
knowledge : (I. John iii. 6). ..And every branch which bringcth 
not forth fruity is cut off and cast into the fire. Are you thus 
born again, and become anew creature, and learnt to live a new 
and divine life ? 

And is it not now most manifest to you that all this is so far 
from having been the product of nature, that all that is in nature 
....every natural propensity of the heart, has, from first to last, 
been utterly against the change, and made a constant and mighty 
resistance ? And do )ou not plainly perceive, that, from first 
to last, the work has been begun and carried on by God himself ? 

And does it not appear to you as the most astonishing good- 
ness in God, and owing to nothing but his sovereign free grace, 
that you have thus been called out of darkness into marvelloua 
light — turned from the power of sin and satan,to serve the liv- 
ing God ? And do you not plainly see there is nothing but the 
same infinite goodness and free grace to move God to carry on 
and complete this work in your heart, and tlu^t so. if ever you 
get to heaven, the whole of your salvation, froii\ r-w^ to last, 
will be absolutely and entirel) to be attributed to free grace ? 
And have you not hence learnt to live upon free grace, through 
Jesus Christ, for iill things ? 


And do you not perceive that he, who h:is Iwijim, do?s ac- 
ttialhf carr\- (>n the work of j,^r.icc in your hearts ? And that all 
the cxtenuil dispensations olprovidcnce and internal inlluencc!» 
of tlic spirit concur in tliciroperaiion, tohuniiile you, and wean 
you from the world, and imhittcr sin — to bring you nearer to 
God, and to love him, and to live to him, and to live upon him— 
and to make you more serious. ...more 3j)iiiiuall\ -minded and 
hcavenly-minclctl....more watchful and prayerful, and moie !0\ - 
inf^, a!ul kind, antl tender-hearted, and obliging to all mankind, 
both friends and foes — and to make you daily attend upon the 
duties of your particular ciUling, and upon all the common bu- 
siness of life, as a servant of God, in singleness of heart, doing 
ser\ice to the Lord ? 

And although you once ilt-ad in iin, and wholl\- withr)ut 
strength, yet do you not now feel that you are spirituallv alive, 
and so put into a capacity for a spiritual activity, and that you 
are engaged to be active for God L.,,jVot that your sufficiency 
is of ifour^t'lf^ as once jou thought it was : for you art not .suf- 
ficient of yourself as of yoursef; but your sufficiency is of God: 
Yet do you not find that, through Christ's streugtheningy 
ifoii can Jo all things ? And do you not, from the heart, hate 
the way of lazy, dead-hearted hypocrites, who sit still, and care- 
lessly cry, " We can do nothing — it is Christ that must do all ;" 
and, under a notion of not doing any thing in their own strength, 
gratify their laziness, and do nolhingatall ! Accursed laziness ! 
Accursed iiypocrisy I — Do \ ou not feel, I say, that you are put 
into a capacity for spiritual acti\ ity ? And are yoa not engaged 
to be active for God I For you are his ^vorimunshi/f., created in 
Christ fesus unto good luorksy that )ou might ivalk in them, — 
\V'hile the spirit of God is taking down ihepowerof sin in your 
heart, and slaying your corruptions, are you not also crucifying 
tilt flesh 7i>it/i the iiff'ectious and ? \V'hile God is woriing 
in you to icill aiul to do., are \ou not ivorking out your salvation 
ivith fear and tn-nihling... .w'wh. fdial foar and holy concern ? — 
^Vhile the spirit of God gives you might in the inner n:an., do 
not )0\i put on ihexvholc annourofGod.,andfightT,vithJicsli and 


blood.... y>-\ih principalities and powers ? This is the way of be- 
lievers. And the spirit does not come upon thein by fits, as it 
did upon Balr am, but dxvclls in theni and abides in them forev- 
er — to purify them from all iniquity, and make them a peculiar 
people^ zealous of good works. 

Finally, do you not experience that your religion is some- 
thing real and perceptible, and see that it is specifically different 
from any thing that possibly can arise merely from a principle 
of self-love ? You perceive your views of God, and sense of his 
greatness, glorj', and beauty ; and you perceive vour sense of 
the world's emptiness, and of your own natural vileness ar.d 
wretchedness j and your love to God.. ..your weanedness from 
the world, and your mourning for sin arc perceptible : And is 
it not easy to percei\'e why you love God — are weaned from 
the world, and mourn for sin ; namely, because God is infinite- 
ly lovely, the world empty and worthless, and sin the greatest 
evil ? And while these views and affections effectually influence 
you to all holv living, their genuineness is made still more ev- 
ident and plain: and, from the whole, you arise to a rational 
and scriptural knowledge of your gracious state. 

From what has been said upon this subject, a great variety 
of other questions might be put to the believer ; but the whole 
has been treated so plainly and practically, that I need add no 
more : And if graceless persons had it in their hearts to be 
honest and impartial, they might easily know that they are stran- 
gers to real religion : But if they haye not the thing itself, they 
will either work up something like it, or else deny that there is 
anv such thing : for he that doth evil, hatclh the light ; and so 
docs he who h:is a rotten heart. And hence some cry, " The 
** best have their failings ;" and they watch and catch at the fail- 
ings of such as are accounted godly, and dwell upon them, and 
magnify them ; and so quiet their consciences, and go on in 
their sins : Others cry, " The best are dead sometimes ;" and 
so maintain their hopes, although they lie dead whole months 
and years tog'ther, and live in sin, and never come to sound re- 
pentance : Others cry, *' You will discourage weak christians ;" 


meaning themselves. — Jiist as if there wen- a sort of christians 
that cannot hear the li^^Ut, nor stand a scriptural trial. What 
\\ ill they do when they tome before the awful bar of die heart- 
searthing God ! Others cry, " But every christian does not 
experience alike ;" and so, though they arc destitute of the very 
essence and life of relitjion, yet they hope all is well ; and ma- 
ny are confident that these things are not so ; " For," say they, 
*' if these things be true, who then shall be saved ?" — I answer, 
.Strait is the gat t\ ami tiarroiv is the way that Icada to life ; inul 
fiu there be that find it : But wide is the gate, and broad /'? the 
xuatj that leads to destruction, and mani/ go in thereat. ...Mm. vii, 
1 J, 14. And mark what follows in the next verse, (lj)...Z^t- 
71'are offalse prophets, xvhichcome to you in sheejj's-elothing, but 
uiwariily are ravening wolves : (ver. 16). ...2'e shall inoiv them 
by their fruits. By what fruits? Why, this is the constant: 
character of false prophets throughout the Bible, that they crv. 
Peace and safety, and heal the wound of poor sinners slight/r/^ and 
datb ivith untempcrrd viortar ; i. e. they make religion to be 
an easier thing than it is — more agreeable to conupt nature ; 
and so encourage sinners to rest in something short of true 
gi-acc. So the Pharisees (^\A, notwithstanding all their pretend- 
ed strictness ; and so the Arminians do, notwithstanding all 
their seeming zeal for good works ; and so the Antinomiana 
do, notwithstanding all their pretences to extraordinary light, 
and jo)', and zeal, and purity, and holiness. And this is the 
common character of all false prophets, and false teachers, and 
heretics, that, being enemies to true religion, they cut out a false 
scheme in their heads, to suit their own hearts ; and so, how- 
ever grcatl)- ihey may dilTer, in many things, yet herein all agree, 
to make religion an easier thing than the Bible does, and to 
make the gale wider, and die way broader, than Christ and his 
apostles ; and, by this mark, the difference between them and 
I'le true prophets may always be certainly known : and there- 
fore Christ Iwving just said, 6'/;a/V/^ Mr «-rr^f, and narr jw the 
xvaif. Sec. immediately adds, Bcxvare of fahc prophets — by their 
fruits ne shall knoTi' them ; for they all invent some easier way 


to heaven, though it may be in sheep's clothings i. e. under a show 
oi great strictness : And Uiis, iheir invention, bcing^^^, they 
are thus dcnomm:itcd false prophets : And thus, what has been 
said concerning the nature of true religion, may serve to clear 
up the believer's gracious state ; and may afford matter of con* 
viction to others. 




Use III. Of huyniliation. What has been said may be 
improved by sinners and saints to promote their humiliation : 
For by the law is the knowledge of sin ; and a sight and sense 
of our sinfulness tends to abase us before the Lord. 

In this glass of the /atf, sinners may see what they are, in 
heart and life ; and, by this rule, they may learn how God looks 
upon them. There is a knowledge of ourselves — of our hearts 
and lives, that is natural to us. Men, by their power of self- 
reflection, have a sort of an acquaintance with themselves : they 
know their present views and designs — their present inclinations 
and way of living ; and remember, more or less, how they have 
li\'ed in years past : But men are naturally very ignorant of the 
nature of God, and of his holy law ; and so, are very ig-.iorant of 
themselves, in a )7ioral sense — are very insensible hoxv God looks 
upon them, and what their hearts and li\es are, compared with 
God and his holy law. Natural conscience has some notions 
about right and wrong, and so does something towards accusing 
and condemning men, especially for their grosser sins ; but na- 
tural conscience is, for the most part, so blind, and so much 
asleep, and, in most men, has been so much abused, and brow- 
beat, and kept under, that it lets men pretty much alone. Men 
hold the truth in unrighteousness^ according to the Apostlc^s 
phrase, and keep their consciences in chains ; and so are, in a 
great measure, without the knv ; and htucc, sin is dead : for 
"where there is no law, there is no transgression : And when 
men know not ilie law in its true meaning and extent, they are 
insenbible hov,- they sw erve from it, and how contrary they arc 


to it, and how sinful sin is : But when the commandment comes, 
sin revives: 

I'hiukoi this, therefore, O sinner, that the infuiitely glorious 
God, your Creator, PreserN'cr, and Governor, descr\ es to be 
ioved, and U\ ed to, and delighted in widi all your heart ; and 
tliat this is what he requires at your hands : and know it, he 
hates your In pocritieul shows and pretences, so long as that, 
in heart, he sees you arc lui enemy to him : You may 
pretend llut you cannot help your heart's being so bad ; but God 
knows you love your corruptions, and liate to have them slain, 
and love to have them gratified : You love to be proud, and 
hence you love to be applauded ; and the praise of men is sweet, 
and of greater price witli you than the praise of God : ) ou will 
do more to please the world than to please God — } ea, will dis- 
please God, to keep in with a wicked world, who hate God ; 
and God knows it : You love to love the world ; and hence love 
to lay worldly schemes, and are secretly ravished with worldly 
hopes when things are likely to go well, and account no pains 
too great in worldly pursuits ; but you hate to pray in secret — 
have no heart for God — can take no delight in him ; and God 
knows it. And will you now pretend, for your excuse, that 
you cannot help your heart's being so bad, when it is t/ou 
yourself lYiJLt are so bad, and love to be so bad, and hate to cease 
to be what you are ? If God has, by his spirit, awakened your 
conscience a litde, and terrified you with the fears of hell and 
wrath, it may be your con'uptions are somewhat stunned, and 
honor and worldly gains do not appear so tempting, and you ar<i 
ready to say lh;it you would willingly part with your reputation, 
and every thing you have in the world, for an interest in Christ 
and the divine favor ; and now you think \ou are sincere : but 
God knows it is all hypocrisv ; for he sees yoti do not care for 
him, but are only afraid of damnation. And God knows that, 
if once you should get a false conlidence of pardon and the di- 
vine favor, } ou would soon return to folly, as the dog to his 
vomit, and set out after the world as eagerly as ever ; or else 
Tent }Oiu: corruptions in spiritual pritle, and in ranting, enthvu 


siastic, wild-fire, and party selfish zeal, as thousands have done, 
who once felt just as you do now. God, therefore, does not 
mind your pretences, nor believe your promises ; forhckno^^■s 
what you are. You may deceive yourself, but cannot deceive 
him : He knows your corruptions are stunned, but not mortifi- 
ed ; and that your nature is just what it was, and you as really 
an enemy to God as ever : And, it may be, ijoit may see it yet, 
when you come to find out how God looks upon you, and upon 
your prayers, and tears, and promises : for it is commonly the 
case with sinners, when they perceive that God is not pkased 
with their devout pretences, and does not design to save them 
for their hypocritical duties, by the secret workings of their 
hearts to discover that they care only for themselves, and are 
real enemies to God and his law. Love to God, O sinner, is 
not begotten by the fears of hell, nor by the hopes of heaven. 
If you do not love God for what he is in himself, you do not 
lo\'e him at all ; but only flatter him with your lips, and lie un- 
to him with your tongue. But it may be manifest to you that 
you do not love him for what he is in himself, because you do 
not love his law, which bears his image. You do not like the 
law as a rule for you to live by, for it is too strict for you : and 
you do not approve of the law as a rule for God to judge vou 
by, for you think it hard for God to damn men for the least sin. 
Know it, therefore, O sinner, that there is no good in you, or any 
goodness in your duties ; but you are in a state of rebellion — 
an enemy to God, and to his holy law : come down, and 
lie in the dust before the Lord, and own the sentence just by 
which you stand condemned, and be quiet at his feet; and if 
ever he saves you, forever attribute it wholly to free and sove- 
reign grace. When the commandment came^ sin revived^ and I 
died : And such an one was you, O believer ; and, in some 
measure, you are r.uch an one still ; and, in some respects, your 
sins are a gieat deal more aggravated. Oh ! never forget the 
davs, and weeks, and months, and years you have formerly spent 
in sin ! Once I was a persecutor^ and a blasphemer^ and iujuriou.s\ 
said St. Paul ; and his heart bleeds afresh, and he sets himself 


down for Uie chief of sinners....!, Tim. i. 13, I J. But what are 
you now, after all the grace of God... .alter ah the kind methods 
heaven has taken to rcchiim you — and what are your attain* 
mcnts, if you compare yovirbelf and attainments with the holy 
law of Clod, in its spiritual nature and divine strictness ? Do you 
feel such a heart tov.ardsthe great and glorious Uovernor of the 
whole world, us becomes you I 1 hink what a God he is, and 
how angels and saints on high love him : 1 hink of his majest}% 
and greatness, and glory, and excellence — and how he is the 
fear, and delight, and joy of all heaven : Think of his original 
and entire right to you, and absolute authority over you : Think 
of the vilcness of your apostacy, and of the depth of vour ruin : 
Think of recleeiijing love : Think of converting grace : Think 
of the many means God has used with you in his providence, 
and by his spirit : Think of ali his loving kindnesses and tender 
mercies. And think what a beast you are before the Lord ! 
Lie down in the dust, and cry, and mourn, and weep, and let 
your heart break ! Oh, your want of love to God. ...of zeiU for 
his glory. ...of delight in his perfections, and of gratitude for all 
his kindness ! Alas, how you disesteem the God that angels 
love, and comparatively despise the God that all heaven adores ! 
Alas, how careless you are about his honor and interest, and 
how inactive in his service ! Alas, how you disrelish the foun- 
tain of all goodness, and the ocean of all blessedness, and han- 
ker after other things, and go away from God, to seek rest else- 
where, and thereby cast inlinite contempt upon the delight of 
heaven, and the joy of angels, the ever-blessed and all-sufficient 
God ! Think of the peculiar obligations God has laid you un- 
der by all the secret ways of his providence and grace with you» 
and of all the infinite pains he has taken with you to make you 
humble.. ..weaned from the world. ...devoted to God... .loving, 
kind, lender-hearted, friendly, and obliging to all mankind, and 
universally holy ; and see, and say, '• Was ever wretch so \ ile ! 
Did ever wretch treat such a God in such a manner, under such 
circumstances 1' Oh, how far, how infinitely far you arc from 
being,what you ought to be ! This made Su Paul accomit hiin- 


self less than the least of all saints^ and forget the things that art 
behind • his attainments dwindled away, as it were, to nothing, 
when he compared himself with God's holy law, and thought 
what he ought to be, and what obligations he was under ; and 
he did, therefore, as it were, set down all that he had hitherto 
attained for nothing, and feel and act as if he was but just now 
beginning to live to God. Rom. vii. 14!.., .The Law is spirt" 
tualf but Jam carnal^sold under sin — verse 24....0 wretched num 
that lam ! — Phil. iii. 13, \4:....I forget the thi?igs which are be* 
hind.... I reach forth towards those thi?igs xvhich are before. ....I 
press toward'i the mark : and, O believer, go you,and do likewise. 
Besides, remember that it is no thanks to you that you are 
not to this day secure in sin ; yea, that you are not one of the 
vilest and most profane creatures in the world : Your nature 
was bad enough ; — the seeds of every sin were in your heart ; 
—but for restraining or sanctifying grace, you might have been as 
bad as any in Sodom. And what was it inoved God to awakea 
you, and stop you in your career in sin, and turn you to God ?— • 
Was it for your righteousness ?...Oh, be ashamed and confound- 
ed forever! — For his own sake he has done it, when you was a 
stubborn, stiff-necked, rebellious creature. And truly, what haa 
been your carriage towards the Lord, compared with the exact 
rale of duty, the holy law of God, since the day you have knowa 
him ?...0, remember Massahy and Tabcra^ and Jubvoth-hataa- 
vah^ and how you have been rebellious ag.iinst the I^ord, ever 
since he has taken you in hand to subdue you to himself— 
(Read Deut. ix. and see how much your temper has been like 
theirs :) — And this notwithstanding all the signs and wonder* 
God has wrought before your eyes ; — I mean, notwithstanding 
all the sweet and awful methods God has taken with you, to 
make you know him, and love him, and fear hi m, and live to him. 
Ihere are thousands and thousands whom God never took anjr 
such special pains with: Their sins are not like yours : Come 
down, therefore. ..sit in the dust.. .mourn and weep, and loathe 
and abhor yourself, as long as you live ; and ascril)e all praise to 
God, through whose grace alone it is that you are what you arc. 


Let me here address you in the words of die famous Mr. 
Hooker : — " That thou maycst forever, each dav that passcth 
*'ovfr thv ht-ad, remember it to the L<^rd, and leave it upon 
*' record in thine own conscience, say — Hadst thou (blessed 
**Lord) given me the desires of my heart, and left me to my 
"own ^vill, it is certain I had been in hell long before this dav, 
"when, in the days of my folly and times of my ignorance — 
*'when, out of the desperate wretchedness of my rcbcl'.iousdis- 
*' position, I was running riot in the ways of wickedness — xv/irn 
** J said to the sccrs^ see Jiot, and to thr prophets^ prcphcs-y not — 
*'to Christians. acquaintance.. .to governor, admonish not, 
** counsel not, reprove not, stop mc not in the pursuit of fain, 
" The time was, I took hold oj deceit^ and refused to return ; nay, 
*' resolved in the secret jmrpose of my heart, Ixouuld none of thee 
*' — I would not have that word of thine reveal or remove my 
" corruptions — I would none of thy grace that might humble me 
** and purge me. ..none of that mercy of thine that might pardon 
''me. ..none of that redemption of thine that might save me. 
** Hadst thou then takenraeatmyword, and given mc whati wish- 
" ed, and sealed my destruction, saying, * Be thou forever filthy, 
*' forever stubborn, and forever miserable ; thou wouldst nei- 
"therbe holy nor happy — thou shiUt have thy will — sin with 
*' devils, and take thy portion with devils'.. ..Lord, it had been 
** just with thee, and I justly miserable : But to bear with all my 
*' baseness. put up with all those wrongs and provocations... 
•"'to strive with me for my good, when I took up arms against 
*' thee, and strove against my own good — nay, when I resisted 
'^ mercy ; and then to take away that resistance, and to cause 
*' me to take mercy, and make it mine, when I used all the 
"skill I could to hinder my own salvation — Oh! the height.... 
*'the depth.. ..the length... .the breadth of this mercy! When 
*' we feel our hearts to be puffed up with the vain apprehension 
*'of our ov.n worth, piu-ts, or performances. ...what we aae and 
"what we do, look we back to our first beginnings, and judge 
"aright of our own wretchedness and nothingness, yea, worse 
"than nothing, in that we not only wanted all good, but we had 


"it within us to oppose all good ; and that will cause usto^sit 
"down in silence, abased forever. When empty bladders are 
" grown unto too great bulk and bigness, to prick them is the 
"readiest way to lessen them: when our empty and vain 
"minds swell with high thoughts, and high, over-weening con- 
*' ceit of our own worth, learn we to stab and pierce our hearts 
*' with the righteous judgment of our own natural vilcness, which 
"will (or at least may) let out that frothy haughtiness that lifts 
" us up beyond our measure : Tell thy heart, and commune 
"with thy conscience, and say, It is not my good nature, that 
"I am not roai-ing amongst the wretches of the world, in the 
♦'road and broad way of ruin and destruction — that I am not 
"wallowing in all manner of sin with the worst of men. It is 
"not my good nature.. thank to any thing that I have, that 
" I am not upon the chain with malefactors, or in a dungeon 
" with witches ; for whatever hell hath, it is in this heart of 
*' iTiine naturally — a Cain here, a Judas here, nay, a devil here. 
*' The time was, (O that, with an abased heart, I may ever think 
*' of that time) I never looked after the spiritual good of my soul, 
*'or whether I had a soul or no : what would become of me and 
"it, was the least of my care...,the furthest endof my thoughts ; 
"nay, loth was I to hear of, or know these things — when they 
" were revealed, unwilling to receive them, or give way to them 
*' when they were offered : How did I stop mine cars, shut mine 
"eyes, and harden my heart ? What ways, means, and devices 
"did I use and invent, to shut out the light of truth....tostopthe 
" passage and power of the word, that it might not convince me 
*' — that it might not reform me.. ..might not recall me from my 
"evil ways? flow often have I secretly wished that either the 
" word was taken out of the place, or I from it, that it might not 
*' trouble me in my sinful distempers ; and when I had least 
*' good, I had most case, and took the greatest content. Oh, 
*'that such a wretch should thus live, and yet live ! To be thus 
*' sinful ! O that I might be forever abased for it."* 

•• Mr. Uookt.r's Ajiplication "f Redemption — Vol. I. page 5r — 100. 


Thus the law, as a rule of life, may be improved to the hu- 
miliation of the people of Ciod, in that it may serve to keep fresh 
in their minds their native uni\eisal dipraviiy.... their former 
wickedness — and to discover their remaining sinfulness : And I 
may here observe, tliat it '{'ihtWcvcrs' pcculidv anjiiaintance^'nh 
the law, in its true meaning, strictness, and purity, that is the 
occ3Lh\on oiH^c'ir peculiar ocjuaintance with die ir own hearts: 
And while the law daily shows them what they arc, it k.irns 
them more and more their need of a redeemer and sanctifier, 
and dally puts them upon going to God, through Jesus Christ, 
for pardoning mere)- and sanctifying grace. The law makes 
way for the gos[>el ; and a sense of sin, weakness, and unwor- 
thiness, makes Christ and gospel-grace precious, and stirs up a 
man to repentance, faith, and prayer. Deluded, therefore, are 
those poor souls that say, " We raust not look into our hearts, 
" nor labor after a sense of our sins and sinfulness ; for that is 
*' legal, and tends to discouragement : but we must look only to 
•' Christ and free grace, and believe and rejoice, and a sense of 
*' the love of Christ will humble us :" Just as if the great busi- 
ness of Christ was, to keep men from a sight and sense of their 
sins ; and just as it a man could be truly humbled, without see- 
ing what he is, compared with God and his holy law : But, 
poor souls, they feel a legal, discouraged frame alwa\s, when 
they have any sight and sense of their sinfulness, and it damps 
their faith (and if they were but thoroughly sensible of their sin- 
fulness, it would kill their faith) and joy : and, therefore, they 
conclude it is not a good wa\' to look into their hearts ; no good 
can be got by it. But when they do not mind their hearts, but 
look steadily to ^Christ and free grace, (a fancied Christ !) 
firmly believing dial till he has done and suffered is for them, 
and reall^ilng the matter to themselves, now they feel sweetly 
and joyfully j and therefore conclude that this is the way, the 
only way, to get good for our souls ; and hence grow mighty 
enemies to the law.. self-examination.. sense of sin, &c. 
This is the door by which, if any man enters in, he will soon 

become an Antinomian and an Enthusiaat. But, to proceed, 



Use IV. Of thankfulness. While the law shews us what 
we are, it does, at the same time, make us sensible what we cle-* 
serve ; while it discovers to us our sinfulness, it makes us feel 
our unworthiness of any good, and desert of all evil : and while 
we feel our unworthiness and ill deserts, our afflictions appear 
far less than we deserve, and our mercies appear more in num- 
ber than the sands, and the kindness and bounty of our God ap- 
pears exceedingly great, and we wonder at his goodness, and 
bless his holy name : And thus tlie law is of use to promote 

God, the great Governor of the world, in testimony of his 
high displeasure against mankind for their apostacy from him, 
has spread miseries and calamities all round the earth : from 
the king upon the throne to the beggar on the dung-hill, there 
is not one but has a greater or lesser share in the troubles of life ; 
and many have their days filled up with sorrows. And no\T 
niurmurings arise all round this guilty world, and the general 
cry is, " Nobody meets with such troubles as I do.... I am very 
*' hardly dealt with." But the law teaches us that God is holy in 
all these his ways, and righteous in all these his works ; and that 
we are all punished far less than we deserve ; and so our com- 
plaints are silenced, and our hearts quieted into humble submis- 
sion, and it appears infinitely fit, a rebellious world should be 
full of woe, that we might learn that it is an evil and bitter thing 
to forsake the Lord. 

But, at the same time, God, the great Lord of all, out of his 
boundless goodness through Jesus Christ, reprieves mankind 
from the threatened ruin. ...strews common mercies with a libe- 
ral hand all round the earth.... sends rain and fruitful seasons, 
and fills the hearts of all, more or less, wifh food and gladness j 
and to some he grants his special grace, makes them his children, 
and entitles them to eternal life : And thus he is the Savior of 
all men^ but e.rpecialhj of those that believe....!. Tim. iv. 10. Yet 
this goodness of God is but little taken notice of in the world. 
But the law, while it discovers wliat we arc, and how unworthy 
and hell-deserving we are, makes us sensible of the freenesi 


and riches of (iod's grace in these kindnesses: For, while 
we feci that hell is our proper due, even,- tiling that renders our 
case better than that of the damned, we shall accept as a choice 
mercy, and as an effect of free grace ; and so, instead of being 
alwa\'s in a murmuring and repining disposition, we shall be 
always wondering at tlie goodness, admiring at the kindness of 
tlic Lord ; saying, with good Jacob, IVt are not xvortluj oj the 
least ofulltfiemerdes^andofaUthctrutli^whiclithou hast shoxv- 
rd unto thy servants. ...Gen. xxxii. 10 — and widi the Jewish 
Church, give thanka unto the LorJ^ Jbr he Is good.. ..for his 
mercy eiidiireth forever. ...V&jXm cxxxvi. And we shall alwa}'s 
tlnd that the more sensible we are of our unworihiness and ill 
dcscrt, the more cause we shall see for thankfulness, let our 
outwaid circumstances in this life be what they will. But, 

Use V. In the last place, let oil that has been said be im- 
proved, by way oi exhortation^ to excite and engage the people of 
God more and more to renounce themselves., the world and sin., 
and give up themselves to God^ to love him^ and live to him., and 
delight in him, xvith all their hearts., forever. 

You have seen what grounds you have to do so, arising from 
God's infinite greatness, glory, and excellence ; and }ou ha\e 
been viewing yoiu" superadded obligations : And is the Lord 
such a God, and is he your God and Redeemer ? O how strong- 
Iv are vou bound to keep all his commandments ! And what 
is it, O believer, that die Lord thy God requireth of thee, but to 
fear die Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, 
and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all 
thv soul ? And is there not, in keeping his commands, a great 
reward ? Did you ever taste such sweetness as in a life of de- 
votedness to God ? And have not your wanderings from him 
cost vou many a bitter and mournful hour ? O, how happy 
wouUl vou be, if once you could come to it, to have done with 
every thing else, and to be wholly the Lord's ! Seriously con- 
sider these things : 

1 . That ijoii can come to it, to have done with evert/ thing else., 
and be wholly the Lord^*^ at least in a vastly greater degree thati 


ever yet you have...,See Phil. iii. 13, 14. You actually already 
have God working in you to xoill and to do. ...VhW. ii. 13. He 
has always been, as it were, laboring to humble you, and wean 
you from the world, and bring you nearer to himself, to love 
him,^live to him, and delight in him, ever since the day you 
first came to know him, by the outward dispensations of his pro- 
vidence, and by the inward strivings of his spirit. He has al- 
ways been purging you, that you might bring forth more fruit.., 
John XV. 2 : Yea, this was the very design of Christ's coming 
into the world, that he might deliver you out of the hands of all 
your enemies^ and bring you to serve God, without fear, in holi- 
ness and righteousness, all the days of your life..,.'Luke i. 74— 
and that he might redeem you from all iniquity, and purify you 
tc hunsef, that you might be peculiarly his, and zealous of good 
works... .T'xX. ii. 14 : And, for this end, God has already taken, 
as it were, infinite pains with you, and this is what he is contin- 
ually urging you unto, and he declares that he is readier to give 
you his holy spirit, than earthly parents are to give bread to their 
children, and invites, and encourages, and commands you to ask 
....Mat. vii. 7, &c. And will you not now, therefore, arise, 
and put on the whole armour of God, and make your strongest 
efforts to recover from sin to God ? 

God, the great King of heaven and earth, commands you to 
do so — Jesus, the kind Mediator, invites you to do so — and the 
holy spirit, the Sanctifier, is ready to help you. Arise, there- 
fore, and be of good courage, for the Lord is with you. Did 
you ever stir up yourself to seek after God in vain, or set about 
a life of greater seriousness, watchfulness, and prajer, and find 
no advantage by it ? Or have you not always said, in the con- 
clusion, tliat it is good for me to draw near to Go^'.... (Psalm 
Ixxiii. 28,) and condemned and hated yourself for }'0ur former 
slackness, and been ready to resolve, from your inmost soul, 
that you would call upon the Lord as long as you live ?.... Psalm 
cxvi. 2. 

And let me put it to your conscience, do not you believe, 
ihat,if now you would gird up the loins of your mind, and quit 


yourself like a man, and be strong, that, through Christ's 
strengthening ofijott^ yon may do all things ? And sluiU careless- 
ness or stiipidiiy... .shall laziness and sloth. ...shall the allure- 
ments or the discouragements of the world or tlu devil, now, 
alter all, hinder you ? What! when you have been redeemed^ 
not with silver and gold, but with the /jrcci oils blood of the Son of 
God — when your prison-door is flung open, and your chains 
knocked oflF, and you called and invited to come out into the 
glorious libertij of the children ofGod^ and when God is actually 
striving with you already, and itands ready to aftbrd you farther 
help, what, now he hindered ! What, and be hindered bv care- 
lessness, unwatchfulness, &c ! What, shall the Savior groan 
in the giirdcn, and die on the cross, and yet you lie sleeping 
hei-e ! What, asleep ! What, content wiihoui God iu the world ! 
What, when the whole army of prophets, apostles, and martyrs 
have fasted and prayed all dieir da\ s, and waded througjj a sea 
of l)loodat last ! Methinks you had better abandon every vciov- 
tal delight, /ay a«fife even/ weight and the sin that jnore easily 
besets you^ and mourn, and weep, and watch, and pray, and fight, 
and strive, as long as you live, than act so far beneath the dig- 
nity and character of a christian. 

It is but a few in the world that truly know God, and the 
way of access to him, through Jesus Christ, and are in a (spir- 
itual) capacity to livea Ufeof devotednessto God, and commu- 
nion with him : most men are dead in sin : But you hath he 
quickened^ and yoii are his worikmatiship^ created in Christ Jesus 
unto good works ; and it is God's design vou should walk in 
them : )ou that were without Christ, and without God in the 
world,afar off, are now brought nigh ; and you are no more stran- 
gers and foreigners^ but fellow-citizem with the saints and 
of the household of God : for this cause I therefore beseech 
you, walk worthy of the vocation wheravith ijou are called : 
See this argument enlarged upon in the second, diird, and 
fourth chapters of die EpisUe to the Ephesians, and your 
duties still more particuhrly delineated in the fifth and 


2. Consider, that as your case is circumstanced^ it is abso' 
lutelij impossible for you ever to find any other resting place but 
Godi or ever take any satisfying comfort of your Ufe^but inawatf 
of devotedness to God and communion with him. The case is 
not with you, O believer, as it is with other men. — 2om, onlyy 
have Iknoxun of all the families of the earth ; therefore will I 
punish you for all your iniquities^ said God to his ancient peo- 
ple.... A/i'c. iii. 2. But the other nations of the earth might wor- 
ship idols, and serve wood and stone, and go on and prosper, 
without being called to a present account ; and so it is as to 
particular persons : Bastards, who have no parents to own them 
and bring them up, may, as for any restraints from parental au- 
thority, do what they will : They that do not belong to God's 
family, may live from home as long as they please, and, because 
they have no interest in his house, may, in respect of divine 
permission, go and live where they please... .may continue to 
lie out from God : hutwho7?i the Lord loveth, he chasteneth ; and 
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth....Hth. xii. 6. Hypo- 
crites may lose their religion, and lie dead whole months and 
years together, and return, with the dog to his vomit, and take 
as much comfort in the world and their lusts as ever ; but it is 
impossible that you should ; you can never get your conscience 
asleep asotjier men's are, or your heart content to lie out from 
God, or ^ring yourself out of your father's hand, or get out of 
the reach of his rod. 

Solomon once seemed resolved to find another resting place 
for his heart besides Ciod, and something else to take comfort 
in, and he was under the best outward advantages to make a 
thorough trial that ever man was ; but he never did, and never 
could : but was always like a bone out of joint, or like the nee- 
dle of a compass turned aside from its beloved star. Vanity of 
vanities^ says the preacher, all is vanity and vexation of spirit : 
And poor David, how was he pained with anguish of spirit for 
the sin whereby he provoked the Lord ? Psalm xxxii. .1, &c.... 
Wliile Ikept silence^ (i. e. before Nathan came, who brought me 
to an open confession — see ver. 5.) my hoiies xvaxedold through 


my roaring all the day lonj^ : For Jtnj and night thy hand xvaft 
hravtf upon mr : Mif moisUirr in turned into the drour/it of sunt' 
mcr : And nover did a iK'licvcr dvpart from God to seek anoth- 
er resting place, or go away from tlie fountain of living waters 
to get something else to take comfort in ; but Ciod hvdrrvd up 
his wail with thorns^ and made a xvall^ that he r$idd not find hia 
paths : So tliat, although he Jhllourd after his lovers^ he never 
overtook them — and though he sought them, he never found them ; 
Ixit, at last, has been constrained to sav, J will go and return to 

my first husband ; for then was it better with me than now 

Hos. ii. 6, 7. His backslidings have reproved him, and his wick' 
edness has corrected him, and made him knoxv, to the breaking 
of his heart, that it is an evil and bitter tiling to forsake the Lord 
....Jer. ii. 19 : I'or as God thus dealt with the Jewish church 
of old, so he does with every believer ; for all God's dealings 
with them were for ensamplcs ; and tlut/ arc written for our ad' 
monition,upomuhom the ends of the xvor Id are come... 1. Cor. x. 11. 
And this now being the case, O believer, and you having al- 
ways by your own experience found it so, will you, notwith- 
standing, forsake the Lord ? What iM.\\x...,what iniquity do you 
fnd in C*od, that you should foi-sake him ? Has he been a wil- 
derness unto you^ or aland of darkness 7 Or has he not been 
your father, ever since the day he took you by the hand to lead 
you, even ever since the day ) ou first knew him ? Or are \ou 
weary of lightsome, of sweet and happy days, and impatient to 
plunge yourself into darkness, distress, and anguish ? May you 
not expect, if you forsake him and go away from him, to .seek 
another resting-place, and somediing else to take comf(iit in as 
your portion, that he will strip you naked as in the day that you 
xvas born, and make you desolate, and a teiTor to yourself, and 
that his anger will smoke against you, and his hand lie heavy 
upon you ? And then will }ou mourn like the dove in (lie vidley, 
and be troubled, aud go boroed down greatly, and roar by reason 
of the d-squietness of your heart, and wiih a thousand and thous- 
and times that you had never forsaken the Lord. ...Read Psalm 
xxxviili — Jer, 2d and 3d Chapters — and Hos. ii. Will jou 


not, therefore, bid adieu to all other lords and lovers, and cleave 
unto the Lord with all your heart forever ? for this is your wis- 
dom, and this is your life : W^hich brings me to add, 

Consider, if you will have done with every thing else, and 
give up yourself to the Lord, to love him, and live to him, and 
be wholly his, then God will be your God sensibly^ and you ivill^ 
in .spiritual respects, be one of the happiest creatures in this world — 
a hundred times happier than you could possibly be in the ways 
of sin ; you shall have an hundred fold in this present world., be- 
sides eternal life in the xvorld to come, if uny man love me, says 
Christ, and keep 7)iy commandments., I will love him and 7nanifest 
myself unto him : and / and my father will come and make our 
abode with him...,]o\vn. xiv. 21, 23. He that divelleth in the se- 
cret place of the most High, shall abide under the shadow of the 
Almighty, ...Vsalmxci. 1 : And God wWiht your dwellitig-place 
forever. ...Fsahn xc. 1. While the nations dash themselves in 
pieces, and all the world is in confusion, and while you pass 
through the fire and through the water, God will be with you— 
and he will ahva^-s be your light, life, peace, joy, glory, and 
blessedness, in this undone, dreadful world — and your heart 
will be firm and fixed like Mount Zion., that cannot be removed, 
hut abideth forever — and nothing shall ever separate you from 
the love of God., neither things present., nor things to come., nor 
height, nor depth^nor life., 7ior death., nor any other thing : And 
God will certainly give you every thing in this world that is best 
for you, and most for his glory, and you will not desire any more ; 
and all the evil things jou may pass through will sensibly work 
together for your ^ood.... Mat, yi. ZZ — Rom, viii. 28 — 39 — 
Psalm Ixxiii. 25, 26. 

And thus you have, by experience, always found that God 
has dealt with you. I appeal, O belicNtr, to your own con- 
science, that thus it has always been, whenever you have sensi- 
bly from the heart renounced all other things, and given up 
yourself to the Lord, to love him, and to live to him, and to take 
content in him, God has sensibly been a God., awd father., and 
portion unto you, and luis given you all tilings, which (every 


ihing considered) you could desire, and scnsil>ly madc;Jlihings 
work together lor voiir good ; whence you have been many a 
time readN lo sav, 'J'hut tiot a xvord of all liis promisen /u/s- ever 
fallen to t/te ground : And you have actual!}' enjoyed a hundred 
limes more comfort in the service of God. dcvf)tednes:j to 
God, and communion wlih him, than could have been had in 
the ser\ ice of siii ; And will \ ou not now, therefore, be entire- 
ly and forever the Lord's ? O how happy you might be ! And 
what blessed da)s you might enjoy ! 

4. And that which cannot but touch a filial heart, consider, 
that if you will thus be wholly the Lord's, to love him, and li\ e 
to him, and delight in him, and to do his will, God will be glo- 
rified xvill ht to hia honor in the 7corld....John:Lv, S, 
Her fin is my Father glorified^ iluit ye bear much fruit : But ye 
(ire (I chosen getieration^ a royal prieathood^ a holy nation^ a pe- 
Cldiar people ; that ye should shcxv forth the praises rf him luho 
hath called you out of darkness into his marviHous light. ...I. Pet. 
ii. 9. God has but tew friends in the world. Many that pre- 
tend to be his friends, are a great dishonor lo him, and disgrace 
to religion : Bv their means his name is bla,spiieraed, and his 
ways are evilly spoken of ; and, in general, his honor is every 
where trodden down in the dust. And ran you stand bv un- 
concerned ?...vca, can you look on without your heart bleeding 
within you i O, therefore, be serious. huml)le...!)c meek, ho- 
ly, and heavenly.. .be peacermakers, and merciful. kind and 
tender-hearted, condescending and obliging, and abound in cv^ 
erv good work ; for you are the salt of the earth, and the light 
of the xvorld : O, therefore, live so, as that your Father, whic/i- 
is in heaven, may be gloriJii'd....^hiU v. 13 — 16. 

To conclude, will you not now, therefore, determine, from 
this day forward, to be wholly the Lord's, and from this day be» 
gin to live to God in better earnest than ever ? God is ready to 
help you. You will, as to present comfort, be undone, if 
\ou do not live to God ; and peace, and glory, antl blessed- 
ness is before you, if you do , and Ciod, even },our God, will 

be glorified : And if vnu are now readv, bv the grace of 

I I 


God, to hearken unto this advice, then take these two direc- 
tions ; — 

1 . Lay aside every weighty and the sins which more easily be- 
set j/OM..,.Heb. xii. 1. In a serious and sweet hour, when you 
get alone, and mourn, and pray, and give up yourself to God, 
and think and resolve you will now be forever the Lord's, you 
are wont, upon self-examination, and a review of past times, to 
see and say, " This, that, and the other thing, has been the sin- 
*' ful occasion, time after time, of my losing a serious, gracious 
" frame of heart — and by such and such sinful means I have 
" gradually lost a sense of divine and eternal things, and so have 
" wandered from God, and laid a foundation for darkness and 
" sorrow. O my carelessness ! O that I had prayed more in 
*' secret ! O that I had spent precious time better, &c. &c."— 
These now are the weights, and these the sins which easily be- 
set you — and these you must lay aside forever, if you design to 
be the Lord's indeed, and to make a business of religion to pur- 
pose : But perhaps you will say, " My worldly 
" necessary' cares, and the common duties of life, are sometimes 
*' the very things, and these I ought not to lay aside ; and what 
*' shall I do in this case ?" — I answer^ that, at another time, 
the necessary cares, business, and duties of life, you find to be 
no hinderances at all — even at such times when you do all out of 
love to God, and for God, with singleness of heart. If you 
will, therefore, but always go about the common duties of life 
in such a manner, they will never be any clog to you. What 
you have, therefore, to do in the case, is not to lay aside that 
which is your duty, but to lay aside your wrong ends and aims : 
and thus you must lay aside every weight : But, 

2. If you design to be religious in good earnest, then be care- 
fid to use all proper vieans^ and do every proper thing that has a 
tendency to promote your spiritual life: 'E.xtry proper thing, I 
say, to guard against those anti-scriptural methods which enthu- 
siasts are wont to take, and by which, above all things, their 
false affections are promoted, but which have a direct tendency 
to kill the divine life. In a serious hour of sweet retirement. 


and in happy da)'s when you arc nearest to God, and enjoy most 
communion with him, ;md have your senses most accurate to 
discern between good and evil, you are wont to see and say — 
*' O how blessed I might be, if I did always keep in this narrow 
*' way which now lies open plain before me — if I were alwav» 
*' serious, watchful, prayerful.. ..always reading, or meditating, 
" and looking to God, and keeping my heart, and improving ev- 
" ery precious moment of my time wisely for God," &c. — 
Well, well, O believer, this is the wa\' — walk in it, and jou shall 
be like a tret- planted bij the rivers oj water ^ that bringcth forth 
his fruit in his season^ whose leaf never withers ; and whatsoever 
you do shall prosper : And, after a few more days, and weeks, 
and months, and years spent in prayer, and faith, and holiness, 
in this your pilgrimage state, you shiUl come and sit down with 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God, and dwell 
forever with the Lord. Amen, 

Noxu^ the God of peace^ that brought again from the dead our 
Lord Jesusy that great Shepherd of the sheep^ through the blood 
of the everlasting covenant, wake you perfect in every good war k^ 
to do his will^ working in you that which is xucll pleasing in his 
tight, through fesus Chriat : to whom be glory foreour and 
ever* AMtK. 

Crue Erligion Delineated. 



JOHN III. 16. 

For God fo ioval the world, tiut be gave bit only begotten Son, that Kboioevtr 
btiicvetb in bhn, tbould nut pcrisb, but have ecerlatting lift. 


1 HE grand question before us, is. What is true religion ? 
And this is the general answer — It consists in a real confor7nity 
to the law., and in a genuine compliance xuith the gospel. What 
is implied in a real conformity to the /a7y, has been already shown 
in the former diacourse ; and we come now to consider where- 
in a genuine compliance with the gospel does consist. From 
our Savior's mouth we had before a brief summary of the law ; 
and now, from our Savior's mouth, we have a brief summar\- of 
the gospel, in tliese comprehensive words, Gi>d so loved the 
•world., &c. 

Nicodemus came toliini for Instruction, believing him to be 
a teacher sent from God. Our Savior begins immediately to 
inculcate upon him the necessity oi regeneration and faith. — 
We are sinners. ...are n^iuraWy dead in sin — and, therefore, must 
be born again. recovered to the divine image in the temper 
of our minds, and so be made spiritually alive : We are guil- 
ty.. ..we need pardoning ijiercy at the hands of the great Gov- 
ernor of the world ; but he will grant it only through the Me- 
diator he has appointed : in him, therefore, must we believe — 
on his merits and mediation must wc depend. Nicodemus 


could hardly understand the doctrine of the new birth ; and our 
Savior intimates that the mysteries of our redemption, by the 
blood of Christ, were like to be still more difficult to him : We 
can easily understand worldly things, for they are agreeable to 
the temper of our minds, and suit the taste and relish of our 
hearts ; but we are blind to things spiritual and divine. ...are 
slow of heart to understand them, they not suiting the temper 
and relish of our hearts, and we being in a disposition to dis- 
relish things of such a nature : therefore, our Savior obsenes 
to Nicodcmus, (ver. 19.) This is the coiuiemnation, that light 
is come into the world, but men love darkness rather than Ughty 
because their deeds are evil. We are in a state of rebellion. en- 
mity against God, and under his wrath ; and yet ready, through 
our darkness, to flatter ourselves that all is well — and so are se- 
cure and at ease. Light is come into the world, discovering 
our disease and our remed)', but we love our disease, and loathe 
the remedy ; and, therefore, hate the light, and will not come 
to it : And thus our Savior teaches Nicodemus wherein true 
religion consists, and points out the aversion of mankind to 
it : Nor is there any thing that will discover our aversion so 
plainly as to set true religion in its own light ; for when we see 
clearly what it is, we may perceive how we stand affected to- 
wards it ; but other\vise we may be easily mistaken — may ima- 
gine that we love true religion, when, indeed, we only love the 
false image we have framed in our own fancy. Regeneration 
axidfaith, these two great essentials, wherein all religion radi- 
cally consists, are the things our Savior inculcates upon his new 
disciple. Christ loved to lay the foundation well ; He was not 
fond of converts, unless their conversion was sound : And, in- 
deed, all our rehgion is good for nothing, if our nature be not 
renewed : and all our commiuiion with God is but fancy, if we 
^re strangers to Christ ; {or hc'is theway, the truth, and the lije^ 
and no man comes to the Father but by him. But to proceed to 
the words of the text, God so loved the world, &c. 

God — i. e. God the Father, the first person in the ever- 
Jblcssed trinity, who sustain* the dignity and majesty of God- 


head, and is eminently Lord of hetwni and earthy (Mat. xi. 25.) 
and prime agent in the works of creation and providence. 
governing the world.. redeeming, sanctifying, and saving 
of sinners.... /Pom. xi. 36. That there arc three persons in the 
God-head....the Father, the Son, and the Holy-Cihost, and that 
these three arc one God, the scriptures do abundantly teach.... 
(J/r//. xxviii. 19 — II. Crjr. xiii. 13 — I. yohnw. 7.) And this 
doctrine we must believe, or we cannot understand the gospel. 
How they are three, and hoiv they are ojie, is not revealed, nor 
is it necessarv for us to know : but that there are three persons 
in the God-head, and yet but one God, we must lielieve ; and 
what characters they sustain, and what parts they act in the 
affair of our salvation, we must understand. The gospel rep- 
resents Gcd ihf rather as sovereign Lord of heaven and earth righteous Governor of the world... .as giving laws to his 
creatures. revealing his wrath against all transgressions : 
He is represented as being injured and offended by our sins, 
and concerned to maintain the honor of his majest)'....of his 
L\w and government, and sacred authority : He is represented 
as having desij^s of mercy towards a sinful, guiltv, ruined 
world ; and as contriving and proposing a method of recovery : 
He is represented as one seated on a throne of grace, reconcilea- 
ble through Jesus Christ, and seeking to reconcile the world 
to himself by Christ, ordering pardon and peace to be proclaim- 
ed through a guilty world, to any and all who will return to 
him in the way prescribed. The gospel represents God the Son 
as being constituted Mediator by his Father, that, in and by 
him, he might open a way to accomplish his designs of mercy 
towards a guilt)' world, consistent with the honor of his majesty 
....of his holiness and justice. ...of his law and govejTiment. 
His Father appoined him to the office, and he freely undertook 
it : His Fadier sent him into this world to enter ujxin the dif- 
ficult work, and he willingly came. He iras made fesh^ and 
divelt among us : Here he lived, and here he died, in the capa- 
city of a Mediator. He arose.. ..he ascended into heaven, and 
sits now at his Father's right hand, God- Man Mediator, exalt- 


ed to the highest honor — made Lord of all tilings, and Judge « 
of the world. And now we are to have access to God by him, 
as our Mediator, high Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate, who 
has made complete atonement for sins in the days of his abase- 
ment, and has now sufficient interest in the court of heaven. 
The gospel represents God the Hohj-Ghost as being sent of the 
Father as prime agent, and by the Son as Mediator, in the 
character of an enlightener and sanctifier, in order to bring 
sinners effectually to see and be sensible of their sin, guilt, and believe the gospel. trust in Christ, and to return 
hoine to God through him : And it is his office to dwell in be^ teach and lead them.. sanctify, quicken, strength- 
en, and comfort them, and to keep them through faith unto 
salvation. The Father is God by nature, and God by office : 
The Son is God by nature, and Mediator by office : The Spirit 
is God by nature, and Sanctifier by office. The Father^ as 
Governor, I^aw-gi\'er, Judge, and Avenger, has all power in 
heaven and earth, in and of himself.. ..ilia^ xi. 25. The Soriy 
as Mediator, deri\'es all his authority from the Father.. ..J/a?. 
xi. 27. The Holy Spirit acts as being sent by them both..., 
by the Father^ as supreme Governor, dealing with a sinful, 
guilty world, through a Mediator — b)' the Son^ as Mediator, 
negociating a reconciliation between God and \x\^n....yohn xi\-. 
16. The Father maintains the honor of the God-head, and of 
his government, and displays his grace, while he ordains that 
sin shall be punished, the sinner humbled, and brought bapk to 
God, and into a subjection to his will, and in that way be par- 
doned, and finally sa\ cd. Sin is punished, in the .?o;i, as Me- 
diator, standing in the room of the guilty : And the sinner is 
humbled, brought back to God, and into a subjection to his 
will, by the Holy Spirit ; and, in this way, is pardoned and 
saved : And thus the Son and the Spirit honor the Father^ as 
supreme Governor, and all join in the same design to discoun- 
tenance iiin, humble the sinner, and glorify grace. — Thus far 
briefly of the doctrine of the trinity. Klght apprehensions of 
God help us to understand the law, and right apprehci^sions of 


the trinity, will help us to understand die gospel : Not how they 
are three persons, and yet but one God, the manner of which 
is not needlul to be known ; but the olHces and characters they 
sustain, and the different parts they act in the great affair of 
saving sinners. God (says the text) .so loved the worlds that he 
guve his only begotten Son ; that whosoever believcth in him^ 
should not perish^ but have everlasting life : i. c. God the Father, 
the great Governor of the world, whom we had offended bvsin, 

So LOVED the world — i. e. with a love of benevolence. Es- 
teem us he could not ; lorwc were worthless and vile : To de- 
light in us it was impossible ; for we were altogedier odious 
and abominable. But to have a good will towards us, or a 
will to do us good, this he might have, although we were sinful 
and guilty : Not, indeed, from any motive in us ; for if we 
were viewed, and our temper and circumstances considered, 
there was not to be seen one motive to pity, no, not the least ; 
but every motive to indignation and wrath. However, from 
motives within himself, he might will to do us good, notwith- 
standing our sin and guilt. The self-moving goodness of Isis 
nature did excite him, from the good pleasure of his will, to the 
pruise of the glory of his grace, to design mercy towards a sin- 
ful, guilty, ruined world. God so loved the world. 

The WORLD — i. e. all mankind. ...all the posterity of Adam: 
For what follows, is evidendy true, of every individual ; — That 
he gave his only begotten Soii^ that whosoever believes in hiiUy 
ohouldnot perish, but have everlasting life. 

So loved-^ — i. e. so inconceivably.. unspeakably. 

That he GAVE his only begotten Son — i. e. of his mere, pure 
goodness, constituted him to be a Mediator.. ..appointed him 
to be a Redeemer and Savior, to make atonement for sin, and 
purchase divine favors, and so to open a way for sinners to re- 
turn to God with safety, and for God to show mercy to then\ 
with honor. God so loved the world, i. e. all the race of Adam, 
Uiat he gave his onlv begotten Son, immediately upon the apos- 
tacy of mankind ; Ibr then was this seed of the xvoman promised, 

(Gen. iii. 15) that all, being, ii/ nature^children ofwrathyin'ight 

K K 


be prevented by divine goodness. God saw all involved in 
sin, and guilt, and ruin, bv Adam's first sin : And so he provi- 
ded a Savior for all ; that whosoever believes in him^ should not 
perish^ but have everlasting life. 

Should not PERISH. — He viewed all mankind as sinful and 
guilty.... lost, undone, and perishing, i. e. exposed to the wrath 
of God, and curse of the law.. all the miseries of this 
death itself, and to the pains of hell forever : And he gave his 
only begotten Son to be a Savior ; 

That ivhosoever believeth in him — i. e. that ventures upon 
his atonement.. ..his worth and merits. ...his mediation and in- 
tercession, for divine acceptance ; so as to be thence embold- 
ened to return home to God, upon the invitation of the gospel. 
That all such should not perish — but 

Have everlasting liee — i. e. the everlasting in-dwelling 
of the holy spirit, as a sanctificr and comforter, to be a never- 
failing spring of a new, a spiritual and divine life — everlasting 
union and communion with Christ, and the everlasting favor 
airJ enjoyment of God through him. 

Thus we have, in these words, a brief view of the glorious 
gospel of th(i blessed God. And from them we may learn, (1.) 
That God, the great Governor of the world, considered man- 
kind as being in a. perishing condition, i. e. sinful, guilty, justly 
condemned, helpless, and undone. (2.) That it was merely 
from motives within himself that he has done what he has for 
their recovery out of this state. (3.) That he has constituted 
his Son a Mediator, Redeemer, and Savior, that through hina 
sinners might be saved. (4.) That he has appointed Jaith in 
Christ, to be the condition of salvation. Here, therefore, I 
will endeavor to show, 

I. Upon what grounds it was, that God, the great Governor 
of the world, did consider mankind as being \nn perishing con- 
dition, i. e. sinful, guilty, justly condemned, helpless, and un- 

II. What were the motives which excited him to do what be 
has done for their recovery. 


III. W h\ii ntcessUy there was of a Maluitor and Rrdeemcr^ 
and how the way to life has been opened by him whom God 
luis provided. 

IV. What is the true nature of savingyj/Zr/i in him: And 
•o, by the whole, to explain the nature of the gospel, ;md of a 
genuine compliance therewith : And in the last place, 

v. Will consider \.\\%: promise of everlasting life to those who 




I. I am to show xipon what grounds it was, that God^ the 
great Governor of the ivorld, did consider iiumkind as being in a 
perishing condition^ i. e. sinful, guilty, justly condemned, help- 
less and undone. That he did consider mankind as being in 
a perishing condition, is evident, because he gave his only be- 
gotten Son, that theij might not perish who should believe in 
him. If we were not in a perishing condition, his giving his 
Son to save us from perdition, had been needless : and his pre- 
tending great love and kindness in doing so, had been 
to aii'roiit us — to make as if we were undone creatures, 
when we were not ; and as if we were much beholden to him 
for his goodness, when we could have done well enough with- 
out it : And the more he pretends of his great love and kind- 
ness, the greater must the aftVont be. So that, however we 
look upon ourselves, it is certain that God, who sees all things 
as being what they arc, did actually look upon us as in a perish- 
ing, lost, undone condition : And if he considered us as being 
in such a condition, it must have been because he looked upon 
us as sinful, guilty, justly condemned, and altogether helpless ; 
for otherwise we were not in a perishing condition. If we 
could have helped ourselves a little, wc should not have need- 
ed one to save us, but only to help us to save ourselves : but 
our salvai . i, in scripture, Is always attributed wholly to God ; 
and God every where takes all the glory to himself, as though, 
in \ ery deed, he had deserved it all.... (£/?/:. i. 3 — 6, and ii. 1 


— 9) ; SO that it is certain, God did look upon mankind as be- 
ing in a perishing condition, sinful, guilty, justly condemned, 
and altogether helpless : and, considering us in such a conditioni, 
he entered upon his designs of mercy and grace ; and therefore 
he every where magnifies his love, and looks upon us as inft^ 
nitely beholden to him, and under infinite obligations to ascribe 
to him all the glory and praise, even quite all : That no fiesh 
should glorij in his presence — but he that glorieth, let him g'ory 
in the Lord*. ..I. Cor. i. 29, 31. 

It is of great importance, therefore, that we come to look up^- 
on ourselves as being in such a perishing condition too ; for 
otherwise it is impossible we should ever be in a disposition 
thankfully to accept gospel-grace, as it is offered unto us. We 
shall rather be offended, as thinking the gospel casts reproach 
upon human nature, in supposing us to be in such a forlorn con- 
dition as to stand in a perishing need of having so much done 
for us ; — as the Jews of old scorned it, when Christ told them, 
If they would become his disciples^ theij should know the truth^ 
and the truth should make them free. They took it as an affront, 
and were ready to say, " What ! Just as if we were in bon- 
** dage ! Indeed, no. We were ftever in bondage to any man : 
" We have Abraham to our father, and God is our Father ; but 
" thou hast a devil". ...yoAn viii. 31 — 48. They would not 
understand him.. ..they were all in a rage : And so it is like to 
be with us, with regard to the methods which God has taken 
with us in the gospel, unless we look upon ourselves as he does wretched and miserable. poor, blind, and naked. 
helpless, lost, and undone. It is the want of this self-acquain- 
tance, together with a fond notion of our being in a much bet- 
ter case than we are, that raises such a mightj' cry against the 
doctrines of grace, through a proud, impenitent, guilty world. 

And since God does thus look upon us to be in such a perishing 
condition, and upon this supposition enters on his designs of 
mercy and grace, here now, therefore, does theqi i tion recur. 
Upon what grounds is it that he considers us as being in such a 
perivhing condition ?.... Grounds he must have, and good grounds 


too, or he would never thus look upon us. If wc may rightly 
undtrstand what they arc^ perhaps wo may come to look upon 
ourselves as he does ; and then the grace of the gospel will be- 
gin to appear to us in the same ligiu it does to him. — The 
grounds, then, arc as follow : 

1. Ciod, the i^reat Governor of tiic world, does, in the- (3;os- 
pel, consider mankind aa being guilty of Adams first ain^ and, 
on that account, to be in a perishing condition. In Adam all 
died^ (I. Cor. xv. 2i) ; but dealh is tlic wages ofsin^ (Rom. vi. 
23): therefore, in Adam all sinned ; [or by cue man sin enter- 
ed into thexoorld^ and death hy sin ; and so death passed upon all 
tnen^for that all have sinned^ i. c. sinned in Adam.... (Rom. v. 
12) ; for (vLT. 19.) by one man^s disobedience mam/ were made 
sinners : And, accordingly, ^ f/u- ojfence of one^ judgment came 
upon all men to condemnation : and hence all are, by nature, 
children of wruth...,(Kph. ii. 3.) 

Obj. But how can we be guilty of Adam! s first sin P It was 
he committed it, and not we : ami that without our consent^ and 
a long time before we were born, 

Ans. Adam, by divine appointment, stood and acted as our 
public head : He stood a representative in the room of all his 
posterity ; and, accordingly, acted not only for himself, but for 
them. His sustaining this character rendered him a type of 
Christ, the second Adam,, who has laid down his life in the room 
and stead of sinners : And his being spoken of in scripture as 
a type of Christ, with respect to this character of a public head, 
proves that he did actually sustain such a character.... (Rom v. 
14) : And, therefore, as, by the obedience of Christ, many 
are made righteous ; so, by the disobedience of Adam, man)' 
are made sinners — (ver 19,) i. c. by the imputation of Christ's 
obedience, bulievcrs become legally righteous — righteous ia 
the sight of God, by virtue of an established constitution ; and 
so have the reward of eternal life : So, b\' tlic imputation of 
Adam's first sin, his posterity, bv ordinary g-juenuion, becanie 
legally sinners — sinners in die sigiit of God, by virtue of an es- 
tablished constitution, and so are exposed to the punishment of 


eternal death, the proper wages of sin. Now, it is true, wc 
did not PERSONALLY rise in rebellion against God in that first 
transgression, but he who did do it was our representative. — 
We are members of the community he acted for, and God con- 
siders us as such ; and, therefore, looks upon us as being legally 
guilty, and liable to be dealt with accordingly — and so, on this 
account, in a perishing condition : But, perhaps,some will still be 
ready to say, " And where is the justice of all this r" Methinks 
the following considerations, if we will be disinterestedly im- 
partial, may set the matter in a satisfying light : 

(1 .) That the original constitution made xvith Adam^ as to hint' 
self personally considered^ was holy,just^ and good. 

(2.) That if all his posterity had been put under the same con- 
stitution, one by one^from age to age, as they came into beings to 
act for themselves^ it had also been holy^just^ and good. 

(3.) That it was, tJi the nature of the things in all respects, as 
well for our interest, that Adam shoidd be made our public head 
and representative, to act not only for himself but for all his pos- 
terity, as that we should each stand and act for himself singly ; 
and, in some respects, better. 

(4.) That, in such a case, God, as supreme Lord and sovereign 
Governor of the whole world, had full power and rightful author- 
ity to constitute Adam our common head and public represeJita- 
tive, to act in our behalf — Let us, therefore, distinctly consider 
these particulars : 

(1.) It is to be noted, the original constitution made with Ad- 
am, ((icn. ii. ir.) as to himself personally considered, rvas holy, 
just, and good, as will appear if we consider the circumstances 
he was under, antecedent to that constitution or covenant : For, 

In the first place, antecedent to that covenant-transaction, he 
was under infinite obligations, from the reason and nature of 
things, to love God with all his heart, and obey him in every 
thing. From the infinite excellence and beauty of the divine 
nature, and from God's original, entire right to him, as his crea- 
ture, and absolute authority over him, as his subject, did his in- 
finite obligation so to do necessarily arise. It was fit.. was 


infiiutcly fit and rigljt that he should look upon the infinitely 
glorious Ciod, his Alakcr and Governor, as bcinj^ what he was, 
and as ha\ in^j such a right to him, and authority over him, as he 
had, and that he should he aj/'ected ^ntX act accordinglij, antece- 
dent to the consideration of any covenant-transaction : And, no 
doubt, this was actually the case with him before that covenant 
was made ; for he was created in the image oj Goi/y ((Jen. i. 27.) 
And so his heart was full of a sense of his glor\', and of ad- 
miring and adoring thoughts : He felt that he was not his own, 
but the Lord's — and he loved him, and was entirely devoted to 
him, in the temper of his mind, conscious of the infinite obliga- 
tions he was under diereto. And farther, it is certain that God 
was the sole Lord and owner of this lower world, and 
all things in it ; and that Adam had no right to any thing but 
by a di\ ine grant : And it is certain it was fit that Adam 
should be put into a. state of (rial, and that God had authority 
to do it. 

And now, since he was naturally under such infinite obliga- 
tions to love and obey God, his Maker.. ..God, the supreme Lord 
and sovereign (Governor of ali things — ^since he had no right 
to any of the trees of the garden, but by the free grant of God ; 
and since it was fit he should be put into a state of trial, and 
God had authority to do it : since these things were so, it is ev- 
ident that constitution was holy — In thedaythotieatest thereof 
thou shidt surely die. God had a right to make such a law, for 
Adain was his, and all the trees in the garden were his, and he 
was, by nature, God, Lord and sovf.rf.ign Gov- 
ernor of the wlK)le world, and it was fitting he should act as 
such — and it was infinitely fit that Adam should have a sacred 
regard to his authority in all things, because he was stich — and 
that his eternal welfare should lie at stake, and be suspended 
upon his good behavior : And, no doubt, Adam viewed things 
thus, and was thoroughly sensible that God had a right to pro- 
hibit that tree upon pain of death, and that he was under inli- 
niie obligations to have a most sacred regard to his will in that 
matter. — Thus that con.^titution was holy. 


And if we consider, in the next place ^ that, as has been ob- 
served, Adam was under infinite obligations to love God, his 
Maker, with all his heart, and obey him in every thing, result- 
ing from the very reason and nature of things, it will ap|5ear 
that the threatening zoasjiist ; and no more than what he must 
have expected, had he fallen into any sin whatsoever, antece- 
dent to any constitution at all. Adam, in a state oi pure nature^ 
i. e. prior to any covenaJit-transaction^ was under infinite obli- 
gations to perfect love and perfect obedience ; the least defect, 
therefore, naust have been infinitely sinful ; and so, by conse- 
quence, must have deserved an infinite punishment : And it 
was meet that God, the Governor of the world, should punish 
sin according to its real desert : in the nature of things it was 
meet, antecedent to any express declaration of his design to do 
so J and Adam knew all this : He knew what obligations he 
was under to God, to love him with all his heart, and obey him 
in every thing ; and, by consequence, he was conscious to him- 
self that the least defect would be an infinite evil, and so would 
deserve an infinite punishment ; and he knew that it was the 
nature of God to render to every one according to his deserts : 
he was certain, therefore, from the reason and nature of things, 
antecedent to that threatening, that the least sin would expose 
him to an infinite punishment. From this view of the case, it 
is plain, that that threatening rvaa jmt, and Adam did most 
perfectly appiove of it as such. It was no more than it was rea- 
sonable for Adam to expect, and meet for God to inflict, for 
any transgression of tl>e law of nature : And it was against 
the law of nature for Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, when 
once God had said he should not. It was practically denying 
God's supremacy casting off his au.hority, and actu- 
ally setting up his will against the Lord's. If any sin,tliere. 
fore, deserved an Infinite punishment, surely that did. 

Remark. And here, by the way, from this view of the case, 
we may gain a certain knowledge of what God meant by Thou 
shalt surchj die ; or, as it is in the original. In dijing thou s/ialt 
die ; and may be certain liow Adam understood it. He did 


not mean tliat Adam should be annihilated ; for such a punibh- 
mcnt was not equal to the crime : He mifjlii, without injustice, 
have anni/iildtLi/ A&MW, had he remained innocent ; tor he that 
gives Being, of his mere good pleasure, may, of his mere good 
pleasure, take it away again : nor could Adam have brought 
God into debt bv a thousand years' perfect obedience ; for he 
owed himself, and all he could do, to God hie Maker.... Rom. xi. 
o5. God meant to punish Acbm according to his deserts ; 
but aJviiliiUition would not have been such a punishment : and 
therefore it is certain diat this was not what Ciod meant. Adam 
knew lliat sin was an infmitc evil, and so deserved an infinite 
punishment, and that it was meet it should be punished accor- 
ding to its deserts, and that it was the nature of Ciod to do so ; 
but annihilation was not such a punishment, and Adam could 
rot but know it: and therefore Adam could not understand 
(/eatfi in diis sense. God meant to punish Adam according to 
his deserts. And what did he deserve ? Why, an infinite pun- 
ishment ; i. e. to have all good taken away, and all kinds of evil 
come upon him forever. Well, what good had Adam in pos- 
session ? Wh\ , he had a natural life., resulting from the union 
of his soul and body, with all the delights and sweetnesses 
thereof ; and he had a spirituallif-^rtsuXim^ from the gracious 
influences of the holy spirit, and consisting of the image of God, 
and sense of his love, with all the delights and sweetnesses 
thereof ; and he was formed for immortality, and so was in a 
capacity oi eternal life and blessedness, in glorifying God, and 
enjoying him : Here, therefore, he was capable of a natural., a 
ffpi ritual., and an eternal death — to have soul and body rent 
asunder forever — to be forsaken by the spirit of God, and given 
up to the power of sin and satan forever, and to have God Al- 
mighty become his everlasting enemy. All this he deserved ; 
and therefore God meant all this : All this he knnu he should 
deserve ; and therefore he could not but understand the threat- 
ening to comprehend all this. Besides, that which makes it 
still more certain, that this wxs tlic meaning of that first threat- 
ening, is, that God has since very cxpresslv threatened eternal 

L I. 


deathas tht wages of the least s\x\....Rom. \. 18 — Gal. iii. 10— 
Mat. XXV. 46 ; (and the word death Itself is plainly used to 
signify eternal death and misery.. ../?07/i. vi. 23 — Rom. viii. 13) : 
So that either jww he means to punish sin more than it de- 
serves, or he intended then to punish sin less than it deserved ; 
or else eternal death was what he ahvays meant, by threatening 
death as the wages of sin. If he means to punish sin noiv more 
than he did then^ it is too much noWy or not enough then; both 
which are equally contrary to the reason and nature of things, 
and equally inconsistent with the impartial justice of the divine 
nature, which always inclines him to render to even,' one accor- 
ding to his deserts... .nor more, nor less: and therefore efenia/ 
death was intended in that first threatening : But this by the 

And, lastlT/y as that constitution was holy and just, so also it 
was good ; because it put Adam (personally.considered) under 
better circumstances than he was before : For, while in a state 
of pure nature, perfect obedience could not have given him any 
title to eternal life j but, as was said before, God might have 
annihilated him at pleasure, alter a hundred, or a thousand, or 
ten thousand years, without any injustice to him....(^ob xxii. 2 
— Rom. xi. 35.) But now, under this constitution, he had an 
assurance of eternal life upon perfect obedience : For, inas- 
much as God threatened death in case he should sin, it is evi- 
dently implied that he should have lived forever in case he had 
been obedient : So that there was infinite goodness manifested 
to Adam (personally considered) in this constitution — eternal 
life being thus promised, of mere unmerited bounty. And be- 
sides, after a while, his state of trial would have been at an end, 
and he confirmed in an immutable state of holiness and hapjii- 
ness ; of which confirmation the tree of life ^^ctms to have been 
designed as a .sacramental tiign. ...Gtn. iii. 22 — Rev. ii. 7, and 
xxii. 14 : Whereas, had he remained in a state of pure nature, 
he must have been everlastingly in a state of probation, had it 
pleased his Maker to have continued him in being : So that, 
upon the whole, it is plain, this constitution, as to Adam, per- 


•onally consiilcird, was /lo/'/^ Just, mkI frooJ ; and had 
great reason, wlili all his heart, to give thaiiLslo Citxlhis Maker, 
for his grx)dness and condescenbion, diat ho would be so kind, 
and stoop so low, as to enter into such a covenant with a worm 
ot the dust : and, no doiil)t, he did so, with the sinceresl grati- 
tude. We proceed, therefore, to consider, • 

(2,) That if ail his posterity had been piit under this same con- 
sfilution, one by one, from age to age, as they came into being, to 
act singly for themselves, it had also, as to them, have been holy, 
JUST, andcooD : As it was better for Adam than a state of 
pure nature, so it would have been, for the same reason, better 
for us. We (had we remained in a state of pure nature, i. e. 
without anv constitution at all) should have been, each one of 
us, under the same infinite obligation to perfect obedience to the 
law of nature, and equally exposed to the same infinite punish- 
ment for the least sin, as he was, and as much without a title to 
life upon perfect obedience, and as liable to be evcrl istingly in 
a state of probation : And, therefore, such a constitution would 
have been as gix-at a favor to us, as it was to him ; and we 
equally under obligations to gratitude and thankfulness to God 
tlierefor. But, 

(3.) // zvasaswellfor our interest, in the nature of the things 
in all respects, that Adam should be made a public head and re b- 
resentativf, to act not only for himself, but for all his posterity, as 
ifu*e had been put to act singly for ourselves ; and, in some respects, 
better : For Adam was, in the nature of the thing, in all respects, 
av liiely to stand as any of us shouUl have been, and, in some 
respects, more likely ; for he had as good natural powers — as 
much of the image of God, and as great a sense of his obliga- 
tions, as any of us should have had ; and had, in all respects, 
as many motives to waichfulness ; and, in some respects, more 
— in that not only his own everlasting welfare lay at stake, but 
also the everlasting welfare ofall his posterity too. Besides, he 
had just received the law from God's own mouth, and he was in a 
state of perfect manhood when his trial I)egan : So that, upon 
the whole, in the nature of the thing, it was more likelv he 


should Stand than that any of us should ; and, therefore, it was 
more for our interest that he should act for us, than we for 
ourselves : But if we had been put to act singly for oursehes, 
under such a constitution, it had been much better than to be 
left in a state of pure nature, and so we should have had great 
cause of thankfulness to God for his condescension and good- 
ness ; but to have Adam appointed to act for us, was, in the 
nature of the thing, still more to our advantage ; on the account 
of which, we have, therefore, 5?/// ^rea^^r caxine of thankfulness 
to the good Governor of the world. It is infinite wickedness, 
therefore, to fly in the face of Almighty God, and charge him 
with unrighteousness, for appointing Adam our head and rep- 
resentative. We ought rather to say, " The constitution was 
"holy, just, and good — -yea, very good ; but to us belongs 
*' shame and confusion of face, for that we have sinned." 

Obj. But God kncxu how it would turn out — he kneiv Adam 
xvouldfall.^ and undo himself and all his race. 

Ans. When God called Abraham, and chose him and his 
seed for his peculiar people, to give them distinguishing advan- 
tages and privileges, and that professedly under the notion of 
great kindness and unspeakable goodness ; yet, at the same 
time, he knew how they would turn out— how they would be 
a stiff-necked people, and would kill his Prophets, his Son and 
Apostles, and so be cast off from being his people. He knew 
all this beforehand { yet that altered not the nature of the thing 
at all — did not diminish his goodness," nor lessen his grace. 
And the Jewish nation, at this day, have reason to say, " I'he 
"Lord's ways have been ways of goodness, and blessed be his 
"name ; but to us belong shame and confusion of face, for 
*' that we have sinned." 

Obj. Tesy but God decreed that Adam should fall. 

Ans. He did not decree that Adam should fall, any more 
than he did that the seed of Abraham should turn out such 9, 
stiff-necked, rebellious race. He decreed to permit both to do 
as they did ; but this neither lessens his goodness, nor their 
sin : for God is not obliged to put his creatures under such cir- 


cumstanccs as that they shall ntvcr be lempicd nor tried ; and 
%vhcn ilicy arc tried, he is not obhged to kc( p ihcm from fall- 
ing ; it is enough that they have sufficient power to stand, if 
they will ; — which was the case with Adam. Besides, God 
h;ul wise ends in permitting Adam to lall ; for he designed to 
take occasion therefrom, to display all his glorious pcy lections 
in the most illustiious manner : So that wc may say of it (and 
should, if we loved God above ourselves) as Joseph does of his 
brethren's selling him — 2't meant it for cvil^ but the Lord meant 
it for good : So here, satan meant it for evil, but God meant it 
for good ; even to bring much glory to his great name : there- 
fore be still, and adore his holy sovereignty — -and, at the same 
time, acknowledge that the constitution, in its own nature, was 
holy, just, and good — yea, very good. These things being 
considered, I proceed to add, 

(4.) That^ in such a case, God, as supreme Lord and sovereign 
Governor of the whole xvorld^had fxdl power and rightful author- 
it tj to constitute Adam, our common head and public representa- 
tive, to act in our behalf ; for, as the case stood, there could be 
no reasonable objection against it. Adam was not held up to 
hard terras : 1 he threatening, in case of disobedience, was 
stricil) just : The constitution, in its own nature, was vastly 
for the interest of Adam and of all his race. Adam was alrea- 
dy constituted the natural head of all mankind ; for God blesaed 
him^ saying. Be fruitful, and multiphj, and replenish the earth.... 
Gen. i. 28. All his race, had they then existed, would, if they 
had been wise for themselves, readily have consented to such a 
constitution, as being well adapted to the general good : (So 
men are wont to do when their estates lie at stake, or their livci ; 
if they think that an attorney is likclv to manage the case for 
them better than they can for themselves, they will choose him, 
and venture the case with him, rather than with themselves) : 
So that the only question is, whether God had, in so unexcep. 
tionablc a case, full power and rightful authority to constitute 
Adam a public head, to stand as a moral representative for all 
his race, and act in their behalf, so that they should stand or fall 


with him : Or, in other words, (for it all comes to the same 
thing), whether, in any case whatsoever, God has full power 
and rightful authority to appoint one to stand and act in the room 
of another, so as to lay a foundation for the conduct of the one 
to be so imputed to the other, as that bodi shall stand and fall 
together : And so it is as much of a question, whether God had 
power and authority to constitute the second Adam a public 
head as thtjirst. If God had not full power and rightl'ul au- 
thority to appoint xh^Jirst Adam to be our public head and 
moral representative, to stand and act in our behalf, so as to lay 
a foundation for his conduct to be so imputed to us, as that we 
should stand and fall with him, then he had not full power and 
rightful authority to appoint the second Adam to be a public 
head, and moral representative, to stand and act in the room of 
a guilty world, so as to lay a foundation for his righteousness to 
be so imputed to them that believe in him, as that they should 
be justified and saved through it ; For, if God has not power to 
constitute one to stand and act in the room of another, in any 
case whatsoever — and if, on this footing, we say he had not pow- 
er to appoint xhtfrst Adam, it is plain that, on the same foot- 
ing, he had no power to appoint tiie second. I suppose it will 
be readily granted, that if God has power, in any case whatso- 
ever, to constitute one to stand and act in the room of another, 
in the manner aforesaid, then he had in these two instances of 
Adam and Christ, which are doubtless, on all accounts, in them- 
selves, most unexceptionable : But if God, in no case whatso- 
ever, has power to apjioint one thus to stand and act in the room 
of another, then both these constitutions are effectually under- 
mined, and rendered null and void. We can neither be guilty of 
Adam's first sin, so asjustly to be exposed to condemnation and 
ruin therefor ; nor can the righteousness of Christ be so imputed 
to us, as to entitle us to justification and life. One man's disobe- 
dience cannot constitute many to be sinners, nor the obedience 
of one constitute manvto be righteous. We can neither be ru- 
ined by the Jirst Adam, nor redeemed by the second. Under 
the Jewish dispensation, il was ordained (/^a>. xvi.) that Jaron 


§houhl laif both his handiupon the head rf the live-ront, and con- 
Jess over him all the iniquities of the children of hrad^ and all 
their transgressions in all their sins^ putting them upon tlie head 
of the goat ^ andsetid him cnvay by the hand of a fit man inta the 
wilderness : Am/ (says God) the goat shall bear upon him all 
their iniquities^ unto a land not inhabited. We used to think 
this scape-goat was designed by God to typify Christ : And th« 
scripture has taught us, in express language, that the iniquitiet 
of us all were laid on /i;;7!....that he bore our 47;7.y....that he was 
made « curse for «?.... that by his obedience many are made right- 
«!/*.... Isai. llii. 6 — Pet. ii. 24 — Gal. ili. 13 — Rom. v. 19. — 
But if God has not authority to constitute one to stantl and act 
in the room of another, this must all be void and of none effect : 
And thus, while men are disputing against the original consti- 
tution with Adam, they, unawares, undermine this second con- 
stitution, which is the foundation of all our hopes. Eager to 
avoid Adam's first sin, whereby comes condemnation, they ren- 
der of none effect Christ's righteousness, whereby comes jus- 
tification : And if Christ did not stand and act as a public 
person.. ..if our sins were not laid upon him....if hedidnotbare 
them on the tree.. ..if he was not made a curse for us, and ifwc 
are not to be pardoned through his atonement, and justified 
through his righteousness, then the gospel is all a fable, and the 
whoL' scheme of our salvation, therein revealed, is wholly over- 
thrown : What remains, therefore, but deism and infidelity ? 
But in as much as we have full evidence to the truth of the 
Christian revelation, and may be assured that it is from God, 
we may, therefore, be confirmed in it that Jesus Christ has 
been, by God, the great Governor of the world, appointed a pul> 
lie person, to stand and act... .to obey and sulfer in our room,, through his obedience and sufferings, we might have par- 
don and eternal life : And, from this fact, we may be assured, 
that God has full power and rightful authority to constitute one 
to stand and act in the room of another : and, if lie has such 
authority, nothing hinders but that he migiit constitute Adara 
to be our public head, as has been said. 


Besides, if we consider the nature of the thing itself, it is plain 
thrit God hud power to constitute Adam oiir public head ; for 
God, as moral Governor of the world, and sovereign Lord of 
all- tirijSgs, has powQr to make anj' constitution whatsoever, 
which does, in its own nature, agree to the eternal fitness of 
things, or, in other words, which is agreeable to his own perfec- 
tions : But all will grant, that constitution is agreeable to his own 
perfections, which, in its own nature, is suited to the gloryof God 
and good of the creatures. Now this constitution with Adam 
was, in its own nature, suited to the general good of mankind, 
because the welfare of mankind was, in the nature of the thing, 
safer and better secured upon such a footing, than if every single 
child of Adam had been left in a state of pure nature, without any 
constitution at all, or than if they had everyone been put to act 
singly for himself — as has been before proved : And it was well 
suited to the glory of God,because in that constitution,considered 
in its own nature, God eminently appeared to be what he was : 
For in it he appeared as the most high God — the supreme 
Lord, and sovereign Governor of the whole world — for in 
it he acted as ."f^ynri^/iZori/ of his creatures... as being, by ?2cr/?/rp, 
God^ and as having an absolute right to and authority over the 
works of his hands. And when God acts so, as by his conduct 
to show what he is, then are his doings suited to his own glory ; 
for nothing is more to his glory, than to appear to be what he 
is : And in as much as the constitution itself was well suited 
to the general good of mankind, God did, in making of it, act 
a kind and tender part towards the human race, to the honor 
and glory' of his goodness. And while eternal life was prom- 
ised to perfect obedience, and eternal death threatened to diso- 
bedience, God's infinite love to virtue, and infinite hatred of 
vice, were manifested, to the glory of his holiness and justice. 
Since, then, that constitution was thus, in its own nature, suited 
to our good and God's glory, there is no doubt but the sove- 
reign Lord and Govcmor of all things had full power and right- 
ful authority so to appoint : for, in so doing, he wovild act agree- 
ably to his own perfections, and the eternal fitne.s«; of tilings. 


But TO CONCLUDE — Wc may be abundantly satisfied, not 
•nlv from the nature of the thing, but also Iroiu what G oil has 
in fact done^ that that constitution was holy, just, and good, and 
that he had full power, and rightful authority to do as he did, 
because otherwise he would never have done so — lie would 
never have made such a constitution. It is plain and evident, 
howifacts^ that Adam was considered and dealt with under 
tlie capacity of a public head, and that death natural^ ■ynriiuuly 
and eternal^ were included in the tl\reatening ; for all his p(js- 
terity are evidently de:ilt with just as if that had been the case. 
They are born spiritually dead^ as has been proved in the for- 
mer discourse. They are evidently li; ule to natural death^ as 
soon as they are born : And it tiiey die and go into eternity with 
their native temper, they must necessarily be miserable in be- 
ing what they are, unlike to God, and incapable of the enjov- 
ment of him, and contrar)- to him : And God must necessarily 
look upon them with everlasting abhorrence ; for he cannot but 
abhor creatures whose tempers are contraiy to him : so that 
here is eternal death ; and all in consequence of Adam's first sin. 

Now then, if indeed we are, in fact, dealt with just as we 
should have been, had Adam been our public head, there can 
siu-ely need no farther evidence to prove that this was the case ; 
for the fiidgf of all the earth cannot but do right : and, there- 
fore, he would not deal with us as being guilty of Adam's first 
bin, were not Adam our representative : But had Adam been 
our representative, and his first sin imputed to us, yet then we 
should have been dealt with no otherwise than 7ioxu wc are ; 
i. e. on supposition of the interposition of a Mediator, as is now 
iiie case : for that we are now bom into the world subject to 
natural death, none can deny, and this by virtue ©f Adam's first 
sin ; and if we are really spirituaikj dead loo, and so exposed to 
eternal death, it is just what might have been expected, had Ad- 
am stood for us — imd so there is no more to be said : And if 
God be such a lieing, as I suppose he is, and the law such, and 
the nature of tiue holiness svich, then, as Iv^g Ijcen shown in the 

first discourse^ there is no do;.ibt wc are, nati\ elv, spirituality 



dead : • So that the force of this argument depends upon the truth 
oi those Ji rat principles^ which, I think, have been suflficiently 
proved. Right apprehensions of the mura/ law will, at once, 
convince us of our inherent natural cornaption, and make us feel 
that we HTQ fallen creatures. 

Remark. Perhaps this is the consideration which most 
commonly first leads poor sinners to see that they do actually 
lie under the guilt of Adam's first sin ; and that their ruin 
thence took its rise, viz. their finding, by experience, when the 
spirit of God brings home the law and awakens conscience, that 
they are, by nature, dead in trespasses and sins ; for now no 
conclusion can be more natural than that they are, by nature^ chil- 
dren of wrath : And this will naturally lead them to enquire, 
Whence this has come to pass ? and they will presently find the 
scripture express and plain in it, that, by one fuan's disobedience^ 
many were made sinners ; and, by the offence of one ^judgment 
came upon all to condemnation : and their own experience will 
give them the most natural comment upon the words, while they 
feel themselves to be, by nature, dead in sin, and exposed to 
eternal ruin : But now, " How could 1 Justly have all this come 
*' upon me for Adam's first sin ?" will naturally be the next 
thought : And an awakened conscience will, perhaps first of all, 
reply, " How it is just and right I cannot tell, but I am certain 
*' so it is, that I am, by nature, dead in sin, and, by nature, a 
*' child of wrath j — this I see and feel : And the scripture says, 
" that, by one viands disobedience^ vumy were inadc sinners ; and 
*' that, ybr the offence of one ^judgment came upon all men to con- 
*^ demnation : And God's wa) s must be righteous, for the Judge 
*' of all the earth always does right : And if I do finally perish, 
" I have nothing to say ; for I have gone in Adam's steps.. ..I 
*' have been voluntary in my rebellion against God all my life, 
** and am at heart an enemy to him still, and that voluntarily so." 
And this may, in a measure, silence such a poor sinner for the 
present : But if ever he comes to be reconciled to the divine 
nature, and then impartiall}' to look into the original constitu- 
tion, he may then see that it was, in its own nature, holy, just, 


and good, and worthy of God, the great Ciovcrnor of tlic world ; 
and, IS such, swccily acquiesce in it, saying, " C»od's ways were 
" holy, just, ami good, and blessed be his namt- ; but to us (to 
*' all the human race) belong shame and confusion of face, for 
" thai we have binned," But until men arc awakened, at least 
to some sense of their natural corruption, they are commonly 
very blind and deal to all the scripture says about this matter. 
It is hard to make men believe conlraiy to their own experi- 
ence — to make them believe that lUcvJtU in Adam, when they 
do not ieel that they are, by nature,y^7/cn creatures. Let the 
scripture speak e\ er so plain, yet they cannot believe tl>at it 
means as it says : It must mean, they think, something else. 
'I'iu; best method, therelore, to convince sinners of the doctrine 
of original (imputed) sin, and to silence all their cavili, is to 
open the true meaning; ot the mora/ hnv, and show them their 
luitive depravit)- : I'his is the method which God takes in the 
BioL-. He says but little about Adam's 6rst sin, but says much 
to snow lis what we really are, as knowing that, if we are but 
once convinced of our native corruption, a few w ords are sufli- 
cient to show us whence our ruin originally took its rise. 

I'hus God, tlie great Governor of the world, in the gospel- 
dispensation, considered mankind as being in a perishing con- 
dition. ...sinful, guilty, justly condemned, helpless, and undone ; 
and one g.-ouad and reason of his looking upon mankind to be 
in such a condition, was our original apostacy from him in our 
first parents : And since that cons-tituiion, whereby Adam was 
made our common head and public representative, was holy, 
just, and good, in its own nature j and since God, the supreme 
Lord of ail things, had full power and rightful authority so to 
ordain and appoint — hence, therefore, he has sufficient reason 
to look upon mankind,on account of this linst apostacy ,as he does. 

Therefore, at the same tixTie he provided a Savior for Adam, 
at the same time did he also provide a Savior for his {wsterity 
too ; they being considered as one with him, and involved in 
the same sin, and guilt, and ruin ; and so standing in equal need 
of relief : Hence Christ is called t/ie lamb slain from the fowl' 


dation of the xoorldi Then was it said, that the seed of the xvo- 
via7i shall bruh-e the scrpenCs head: To which original grant 
our Savior seems to have respect, when he says, God so loved 
the worldj that he gave his only begotten Son^ &c. Whereas, 
had Adam acted in the capacity of a private person, and sinned 
and fallen for himself alone, and his posterity not been involved 
in the same ruin, he might have had a Savior provided for 
him : But his posterity would no more have needed one than 
the angels in heaven, or than Adam before his fall. 

Obj. But those words^ In the day thou eatest thereof, thou 
shale surely die, (Gen. ii. 17) were evidently spoken only to Ad- 
am; nor is there axvord said about his posterity having any intC' 
rest or concern in the affair* 

Ans. So also were those words, in Gen. iii. If).. ..Dust thou 
art, and unto dust shalt thou return^ spoken only to Adam, with- 
out the least intimation that his posterity were any of them in- 
cluded in the sentence : And )et, by virtue of that sentence, all 
his posterity are subject to death.. ..i?(7w. v. 12, 13, 14: Do 
you account for this, and you will, at the same time, account 
for that ; for the truth is, that, in both cases, Adam was con- 
sidered not merely as a single private person, but as a public 
head and representative, standing in the room of all his poster- 
ity : and, considered in this capacity, was he threatened with 
death^ in case he sinned — and, considered in this capacitv, was 
natural death denounced upon him after his fall : So that, in 
both, his posterity were equally included : and therefore St. 
Paul calls Adam a type oi Christ.»..Rom. v. 14 — and calls Christ 
the6rco^2c/Adam....I. Cor, xv. 45 ; because both these, by the 
authority of the great Governor of the world, were constituted 
public persons, to act in the behalf of mankind : And all man- 
kind were so included in them, that St. Paul speaks as if there 
had been but only these two men, Adam and Christ: I. Cor. 
XV. ^7. ...The first man is of the earthy earthy ; the second man 
is the Lord from heaven. 

2. God, the supreme Ruler of the world, docs, in the gospel, 
consider mankind as being in a perishing condition, not only 


•n the account of their original apostcicy in Achim, their com- 
mon head and rcprcscnt;\ti\c, but albO because tlirif are, luhat 
tlieij arc^ in themselves — (l.) Destitute of the divine image— 
(2.) Contrar)' to Ciod in the temper of their hearts — (;3.) Ut- 
terly averse to u reconcihation — (4.) In a disposition, if unre- 
strained, to live in iill open rebellion ag-ainst the IVIajesty of 
heaven, before his face — (5.) And yet insensible of their just 
desert, and of tlicir need of sovereign grace ; and ready rather 
to think it a cruel tiling, if God should damn them. 

(1.) God saxu numkirul destitute of his moral image ; for being 
conscious of the holy temper of his own heart.... of tiie holy pro- 
pensity of his own nature — and being conscious to die temper 
of dieir hearts. the propensity of their nature, at first view- 
he saw what Uiey were. God looked doxun from heaven upon the 
children of men, to see if there were any that did understand^ 
that did seek God : Every one of them is gone back ; they are al- 
together become filthy ; there is none that doth^ not one 
....Psalm liii. 2, 3 : He saw mankind destitute of a conformity 
to his holy law. The law requires mankind to love Cod su- 
premely, live to him uliimatcl;>-, and delight in him superlative- 
ly — and to love one anotlier as their own souls ; but he look- 
ed down from heaven.. ..he beheld, and, lo, all the human race 
were entirely devoid of that temper : None were in a disposi- 
tion to account him infinitely glorious in being what he was : 
not one had the least relish or taste for the beauty of his moral 
perfections : every heart empt}- of holy love and holy delight, 
and devoid of any true spirit or principle of obedience ; and all 
mankind had lost that frame of spirit towards one another which 
they ought to have : 1 he whole world lay in ruin. - He knew 
hts law was holy, just, and good, and that his creature, man, was 
under infinite obligations to a perfect conformity thereto : He 
saw what grounds there were for the law, and what reasons for 
their obedience : He saw his own infinite excellency, and his 
original, undciived, entire right to them ; and was constiour. t3 
his rightful authority over them : He judged them infinitely to 
biame for their non-conformity, and wordiy of an infinite pun- 


ishment : Speaking after the manner of men, he did, in the in* 
ward temper of his heart, ptrfectly approve of those words in 
Gal. iii. 10, as being strictly just — Cursed is every one that COJI' 
tinueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them : 
Therefore he looked on mankind in a perishing condition. But, 

(2.) He viewed mankind not only destitute ofgood^ but full of 
evil; — not only void of the true love to God and to one anoth- 
er, but enemies to God, and living in malice and envy among 
themselves. He looked down from heaven and viewed a guil- 
ty world, and saw their contrariety to his nature and to his law : 
Conscious of his own divine temper, he saw every contrary 
temper in them : What he esteems, they despise ; — what he de- 
lights in, they loathe : The end which he prosecutes, they op- 
pose ; and they esteem and delight in that which is contrary to 
him, and prosecute ends and designs contrary to his : He saw 
their views, their tempers, their wills, their ends, designs, and 
ways were all contrary to him, and diametricallv opposite to his 
law: He considered them as his enemies, and their tempers as 
perfect enmity and contrariety to the divine nature.... i?o»7» 
viii. 7. 

(3.) And in as much as he thus saw them entirely destitute 
of love to him, and diametrically contrary to the divine nature 
in the temper of their hearts, he knew they would liave no incli- 
nation to a reconciliation to God ; but xvoidd be naturally averse 
to it : He knew their aversion to a reconciliation would be as 
strong as their contrariety' to the divine nature, from which it 
took its rise : He saw that if he should attempt to reclaim them, 
he should only meet with resistance ; — that if he should spread 
the news of pardon and peace through a guilty world, and in- 
vite them to return and be reconciled, that they would make 
light of it and despise it ; — that if he should send messengers 
after them, to persuade them to return, and beseech them to be 
reconciled, that they would put many of tiiem to death : He 
saw just what treatment the propliets, and Christ, and his apos- 
tles were like to meet with : He knew not one in all the world 
would repent and convert, unless brought thereto by his own al- 


mighty arm, and all-conqviering grace. ..i1///. xxi. 33 — 39 — 
Rom. viii. 7 — I. Cor, iii. G, 7. 

(4.) 2Va, so far from a Jisposition to repent arul convert^ that^ 
if left wholly to xtnrcstrained^ no ivickedness ivmtldbe 
too bad for thi-tn : All would act as bad as Cain, Manassclh, or 
Judas ; and the whole human race he like so many incarnate 
devils — they having the seed of all sin in their hearts.... J/ari 
vli. 21, 22. 

(5.) And )'et insensible of their sin and guilty and just desert^ 
and that thcij lie merely at the sovereign mercy of God, and that 
he is at liberty to show mercy, or not, as seems good in his sight: 
yea, so averse to the knowledj^e of this their true state, as to 
be disposed to hate the li>jht, and shut their eyes against it, rea- 
dy to resist all methods of conviction ; — yea, that some would 
be even so perverse, as actually to rise in arms against his mes- 
sengers, who endeavored to shew them their ruin and the way 
of their recovery, and put them to death, as not fit to live ; and 
ytt so stupid as to think, that, in all, they did God good ser- 
vice : And that, in general, a great out-cry would be raised 
round a proud and guilty world, against the Lord, for suppo- 
sing mankind to be in so bad, so very forlorn a state. God 
knew the pride of man, that he is exceedingly proud ; and saw 
how great offence would be given to a guilty world, who would 
by no means endure to be so ixii\outed.,..yohn iii. 19, 20, and 
viii. 33, 4r. 

Now, such were the grounds upon which God looked upon 
the human race in a perishing condition. ...sinful, guilty, justly 
condemned, helpless, and undoae : And considering that the 
original constitution with Adam, according to which he and all 
his posterity were doomed to destruction, in case he fell, was 
holy, just, and good ; and considering that the law of nature, 
which all mankind are naturally under, and according to which 
the least sin exposes to eternal damnation, is also holy, just, and 
good ; and considering our apostacy in Adam, and what we 
are in ourselves ; — I say, considering all these'things, it is most 
ceitainand evident that die judgment of God was according to 


truth, while he esteemed mankind to be thus in a perishing 

That mankind are actually of such a nature, has been demon- 
strated in the ybrwer ^ : That God, whose understand- 
ing is infinite, and who sees all things as being what they really 
are, must therefore now see mankind to be such, is self-evi- 
dent : and such as he 7iGw sees them to be, such he, from the 
beginning, knexo they would be : It is evident, therefore, dpri' 
ori, that God must have considered mankind to be such^ when 
he first entered upon his designs of grace revealed in the gos- 
pel : And if we consider the nature of the gospel, and what 
methods God has taken with a sinful, guilty world, to reclaim 
and recover them, and how they have behaved under all, it will 
be still moi-e evident that mankind are verily in such a case.— 
The law.. ..the gospel, and experience, all join to confirm it. 

Had not the gospel considered us as being entirely devoid of 
the divine image, destitute of any spiritual good thing, blind, 
dead, graceless, why should it so much urge the necessity of 
our being bom again.. ..m^ide new creatures,. ..h?i\'\ng our eyes 
opened... being raised fro7n the dead... he'itiQ created anew to good 
xvorks. ..Tindi having tlie law written in our hearts^ the heart of 
stone taken arvay^ and an heart ofjlesh given ? — Had not the 
gospel considered us as being enemies to God^ why should it in- 
vite us to be reconciled? — Had not the gospel considered us as 
jjeing very averse to a reconciliation, why should it pray and 
beseech us, with so much earnestness and solemnity, to be re- 
conciled. ...and use so many arguments? — Had not the gospel 
considered our reconciliation as unattainable by the most pow- 
erful arguments, of themselves, why should it declare that, after 
all, neither Paul, nor ApoUos, nor Cephas are any thing, or can 
do any thing, unless God himself giv e the increase ? — And were 
we not enemies to God, and rebels, and inveterate haters of the 
light, and disposed to rise in arms against it, why should Christ 
tell his ministers, / send you forth as sheep among ruolves ; if 
they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, no wonder 
tiny call you so ; you shall be hated of oilmen for my name''s sake; 


the'j that hill tjou will think they do God f^^od service ? That 
gi-niniiion thought as wtll ol themselves as the j)rtscnt genera- 
tion now on ciinh docs, anil were ready to speuk the same lan- 
guage, and say, If we had lived in the days of our fathers^ rve 
wouLi ri'jt have killed the prophets ; but Christ knew their 
hearts : And, had not mankind, on these accounts, been con- 
sidered as in a perishing condition, sintul, guilty, justly con- 
demned, helpless and undone, why was there provided .such a 
Redeemer^ and such a Suiuti/ier ? And why was the salvation 
ol" sinners every where represented as being so entirchj owing 
to the grace, the mere grace, the free, astonishing, wonderful 
grace of God, from first to last ? Surely, from all this, most 
certain and evident it is, that God does, in the gospel, upon 
these grounds, consider mankind as being in a perishing con- 
dition : And upon these grounds wc must, therefore, come to 
consider ourselves so too, or wc can never be in a disposition 
humbly and thankfully to accept the grace offered, and return 
home to God in the way provided. We shall rather be affront- 
ed, that the gospel supposes us to be in so bad a condition ; or 
else never so much as take matters into serious consideration, 
but do as those invited to the marriage of the king's son, in 
Mat. xxii. 5. ...They made light ofit^ and went their xvays^ one 
to hisfartUy another to his merchandize. I do but just hint at 
these things now, because diey have been so largely insisted 
upon heretofore. And thus we sec upon what grounds it is, 
that the great Governor of the world docs, in the gospel, con- 
sider mankind as being in a perishing condition. 


I proceed now, 

II. To show what were the motives which have excited God 
t9 do what he has done., for the recovery of sinners out of this 
their pcrisliing condition. And 

1 . It xvas not because the original constitution with Adam., our 
public head and representative^ was too severe : It xvas not be- 

N N 


cause it xvould have been hard and cruel^ or in the least inconsist- 
ent with his infinite goodness and tender mercies^ to have left all 
mankind in that state of total ruin they were brought into by the 
fall : For had not that constitution been, in its own nature, ho- 
ly, just, and good, and so most perfectly agreeable to his own 
nature.. his holiness, justice, and goodness, he would never 
ha\ e made it ; for he necessarily infinitely abhors, in his pub- 
lic conduct, to act counter to the inward temper of his heart. 
For the very reason that he loves himself for being what he is,for 
the same reason he loves to act like himself, and infinitely abhors 
the contrary : Andif that constitution was holy, just, and good, in 
its own nature, originally, it must remain so still ; for Adam** 
apostacy, together with all the dreadful consequences thereof, 
could not alter its nature. The constitution is perfectly as ex- 
cellent as if Adam had never fallen....perfectly as good as if it 
had been the means of laying a foundation for the everlasting 
blessedness of all the human race ; for it is what it was. It was 
cxcellendy well calculated for the glory of God, and the welfare 
of mankind, in its own nature ; and therefore God made it.... 
approved of it.. ..was well pleased with it, nor can he ever alter 
his mind about it : for it is, in itself, just the same it was at first 
— and if it was holy, just, and good, in its own nature, and if it 
remains so still.. ..if the holiness, justice, and goodness of his 
nature prompted him at first to make it, and then to approve of 
it, and be perfectly well pleased with it, it could not (it is self- 
evident) possibly have been, in the least, disagreeable to his 
holiness, justice, or goodness, to have dealt with all mankind, 
since the full, according to it : So that, to a demonstration, 
God's thoughts of mercy towards a guilty, undone world, did 
not, in any measure, take its rise from any notion that mankind 
had been hardly dealt with, or that it would be any thing like 
cruelty and unmercifulness to damn the whole world for Ad- 
am's first sin, according to the tenor ofthe original constitution. 
Indeed, to su[)pose such a thing, highly reflects upon that con- 
stitution — and upon Ciod, for ever making it : It supposes die 
constitution was never really holy, just, and good in its own 


nature, and ihat GoJ did wrong in makinj^ it : And the 
riches and ijlor)- of gospel-grace are wholly oljscurcd ; for (ioil 
cannot be considered as a sovereign hentfactory showing unde- 
scned mercy to a gviilty, licll-descrving world ; but raUter as 
repenting for the injur)' he has done to mankind, and as endeav- 
oring to make amends for it by abetter, a jusicr and kinder 
conduct for the time to come : And if this were the case, all 
his pretences, his high pretences to great lo\e and goodness.... 
to great kindness and grace, are hypocriticrd, and a mere mock- 
ing of us. He had abused and injured us, and is now but re- 
pentingy and making restitution ; and ought, therefore, to ha\ c 
said so, and not pretended he did all from mere grace, which 
is to affront us, and make as if tliat constitution was holy, just, 
and good, and we righteously condemned, and justly miserabl* 
forever : So that, let us view the case m what light we will, it is 
most evident and certain that tlie great Governor of the world 
considered mankind as being righteously condemned, and lia- 
ble to everlasting destruction, consistent with the infinite good- 
ness of his nature ; nor did a thought of pity ever enter into 
his heart from the contrar)- supposition : Yea, it seems to have 
been his very design to maintain the honor of that ccHistitution, 
while he shows mercy to a guilt}' world, inasmuch as he has 
appointed another public person, his own dear Son, to make 
atonement for our original apostacy, as well as our other sins, 
that hereby a way for his mercy might be opened.. ..i?c/«. v. 
18, 19. 

2. Nor did God's designs of mercy towards a guilty, undone 
world take their the from a supposition that the law ofnature, 
•which all mankind are naturally under, is too severe, in requi- 
ring perfect obedience, and threatening eternal damnation for the 
very least defect, (Rom. i. 18 — Gal. iii. 10), or from umj mp- 
position that it -would have been any thing like cruelty or unmcr' 
cifulness, to have dealt xvith all mankind according to that rule. 

To explain myself, I mayjust obsene, that the original con- 
stitution with Adam, as public head, (Gtvz. ii. 17) was n positive 
appointment. After he was turned out of the garden, he cea- 


seel to sustain the character or capacity of a public person ; nor 
are his posterity accountable for any but his first transgression. 
But the law of nature results from the nature of things. ...from 
God's being what he is in himself, and from our being what , 
we are, and he our Creator and we his creatures : And it was 
binding, in order of nature, antecedent to any positive consti- 
tution whatsoever : nor is its binding nature capable of any 
dissolution. We might have obtained life, according to the 
constitution made with Adam, had he kept covenant with God; 
and been confirmed in a state of holiness and happiness : so 
now we may obtain life by Jesus Christ, who has fulfilled the 
law of nature, and made atonement for all sin : But the law of 
nature still remains an unalterable rule of righteousness be- 
tween God and his creature, man. We owe perfect obedience 
to God, and the least sin deserves eternal damnation : And 
God might always have dealt with mankind simply according 
to this rule. The original constitution with Adam had some 
degree of grace in it. The constitution in the gospel is alto- 
gether GRACE. God might have held all mankind bound by 
the law of nature simply, nor ever have appointed any other 
way to happiness, than a perfect and persevering obedience ; 
and mankind have been, to all eternity, in a peccable state, lia- 
ble to sin and fall into ruin. Whatsoever advantages mankind 
have had over and above this, are, imd have been, o( mere grace. 
According to the law of nature, we are under infinite obligations 
to perfect holiness in the temper of our hearts, and to perfect 
obedience in the whole course of our lives, and that not only 
for a day, or a year, or a thousand y t^ars, but so long as we con- 
tinue in being. And so long as we are thus obedient, we shall 
be happy ; but the least defect, at any time whatsoever, will let 
in everlasting, inevitable ruin upon us. Adam, in innocence, 
was under the law of nature, as well as under that particular 
])Ositive constitution in Gen, ii. 17 : So that any other sin, as 
well as eating tiie forbidden fiuit, must have exposed him to 
ruin. But then, by that constitution, he hud this peculiar ad- 
vantage, that, if he persevered, his time of tri;J should shortly 


be at an end, and himself and all his rate confirmed in a state 
of holiness and happiness — an advantage never to be oinained 
by any one merely under the law of nature : For, in the nature 
of things, it is impossible God should ever be laid under any 
obligations to his creatures, unless by virtue of his own free 
promise, which does not belong to the law of nature, but is an 
act of grace, which he may grant or withhold, as seems good in 
his sight. When Adam broke co\ cnant with God, and when 
that positive constitution was at an end, yet still Adam remained, 
vmder tlie law of nature, bound to perfect obedience, to love 
God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself; yea, under 
infuute obligations — and every defect was infinitely syiiu!, and 
so was wortli) of inftnite punishment. And as was the case 
with him, so is the case with all his posterity : Ourobiigations 
are infinite, and so our non-performance infinitely fauliv, and 
worthy of an infinite punishment : Though, indeed, as the case 
now stands, nor Adcuu, nor any of his race c;.m ever obtain life 
by the law of nature ; because we are sinners, and so, by the 
law of nature, are condemned without hope. i?o»i. iii. 20.... 
By the dted'i of the hnv nojlcah can be juatljled ; for by the law 
is the knowledge of sin : And chap. iv. ver. 15. ..The laxo xvork' 
eth wrath. And thus, as the case now stands, we are under 
infinite obligations to perfect obedience, and are liable to an in- 
finite punishment for die least defect : and yet, through the bad 
temper of our hearts, we are unable to yield any obedience, and 
are in a dispojiiion to be continually treasuring up wrath 
against the daj- of wrath. 

Now, I say, the supreme King of heaven and earth was not 
moved to entertain designs of mercy towards a sinful, guiltv, 
undone world, from a supposition that the law of nature was too 
severe, ffr that it would have been any thing like unmerciful- 
ness to have dealt with all mankind according to that ride : For, 

All that this law requires, is, that since Gou is infinitely amia- 
ble in himself, and has such an entire right to us, and absolute 
authority over us as his creatures, we Uierefore ought to love 
him xvith all our hearts, and be tniirely devoted to him, to do 


his will and keep his commands, seeking his glory ; and that, 
since our neighbors are such as we.. .of the same species, and 
under the same general circumstances, we therefore ought to 
hve our neighbor as ourselves ; — both which things are, in their 
own nature, right, and fit, and reasonable : so that tlie law is ho- 
ly : And all that this law threatens, in case of any transgres- 
sion, is, that since our obligations are infinite, and so the least 
defect infinitely wrong, therefore every such defect should be 
punished with the everlasting pains of hell. ...and that in exact 
proportion to U^e several aggravations attending each trangres- 
sion ; — which is also, in its own nature, right, and fit, and rea- 
sonable : so that the law is just : And that perfect holiness 
which this law requires, i. e. to love God with all our hearts, and 
our neighbors as ourselves, is the highest perfection our nature 
is capable of, and altogether suited to make us happy : so that 
the law IS good. But, 

It is not severe, nor any thing like unmerclfulness, to deal 
with mankind according to a rule, which is, in its own nature, 
holy, just, and good ; but rather, it must have been agreeable to 
the holiness, justice, and goodness of the great Governor of the 
world so to do : And indeed, were not this the case, it would 
have been fit this law should have been repealed. Mankind 
did not need to be redeemed from the curse of an unrighteous 
law ; for such a law ought to be laid aside, and its curses never 
executed. God would have been bound in justice to have abol- 
ished an unrighteous law. There is no need of Christ or gos- 
pel-grace in the case : and so all the high commendations of the 
grace ci'God in providing a Savior, as being rich, free, and won- 
derful, are groundless, and cast much reproach upon mankind, as 
being a guilty race, righteously condemned, when, in truth, it is no 
such tiling. God ought to have owned tiiat the law was wrong, 
and to have repealed ii — and not to have proceeded as if it was 
very good, and mankind altogether to blame, and worthy of 
clcrnal damnation : And mightily would this have pleased an 
apostate, proud, and guilty world ; and, at the same time, cast 
infinite reproach upon God and his holy law, and shut out all 
the gi-acc of the gospel. 


God has therefore, in the i^spel, not only supposed the law 
to be holy, just, ;inil gwxl, and mankind righleou-ly condem- 
ned ; but has taken all possible care to make it evident that he 
does so, anil thereby to secure the honor of his law, disconntc* 
nance sin, humble the sinner, and exalt and magnifv his p^ace. 
Even the whole scheme of the jjospcl is wisely calculated to attain 
these cnds^as we shall see hereafter. So far was Ciod from being 
moved to pity mankind, from a supposition that they had, in 
this respect, been too severely dealt with, and so objects of pity 
in that sense, that, on the contrary, he most perfectly approved 
of the law, as holy, just, and good — and was altogether in it, 
that mankind deserved to be proceeded with according to it : 
Yea, so highly did he approve of his holy law, and so odious and 
ill-deserving did mankind appear in his eyes for breaking it, 
that their sin cried aloud for vengeance in his ears ; — yea, cried 
so loud for vengeance, that he judged it necessar)- that his own 
Son should appear in their stead and die in their room, to the 
end diat he might be just.. ..might act consistently with the ho- 
linessand justice of his nature, while heshowedmcrcy to them... 
l^om. iii. 9 — 26: In such a light he viewed things — in such a light 
must we therefore view them too, or we can never truly under- 
stand our need of Christ and gospel-grace, or cordially acqui- 
esce in the gospel-way of salvation ; but rather shall be dispo- 
sed to quarrel with the strictness of the law, and think ourselves 
abused, and imagine that God deals hardly with us. 

3. Nor was the supreme Being moved to entertain designs 
of mercy towards mankind, yj-^jw a supposition that their inobi!' 
ity to yieU perfect obedie7icc made them the less to blame^ and sa 
the more proper objects of pity on that account : For mankind are 
not the less to blame for their inal/ility ; but the more unable 
they are, the greater is their blame — and so the more proper ob- 
jects are they of the divine wrath and vengeance. 

God is a most excellent and amiable Being. He infinitely 
deser\es our highest love and esteem, and supreme delight. It 
is perfectly fit we should be of a disposition to say. Whom have 
we in heaven but thee ? and there is nothing on earth xve desire 


be-'iides f/jcr...Psalm Ixxiii. 25. Now, not to love this God with 
all our hearts, must be infinitely wrong ; and not to love him at 
all, must be worse still : but to be habitually contrary to him in 
the temper of our hearts — yea, so averse to him as that we 
CANNOT love him, must be, in the very highest degree, vile and 
sinful : And now to say we cannot, by way oi extenuation^ as 
though we were the less to blame for that, is intolerably God- 
provoking; since our cannot arises only from the bad temper 
of our hearts, and because we are not what we should be — and 
not at all from any unloveliness in the divine nature, or from 
our want of external advantages for the knowledge of God. 

Put the case to thyself, O man : — Were you as wise as Solo- 
mon, as holy as David, as humble as Paul, and of as loving and 
kind a temper as John.. ..and had you a family of children.... 
and we're all the rules and orders of your house like yourself, 
and calculated to make all your children just such as you are.... 
and did you perceive that your children neither liked you, nor 
your wavs, nor the orders of your house — they show you much 
disrespect in their carriage, disregard your authority, complain 
your rules are too strict, and daily break over all orders ; — at 
length you call them to an account — are about to convince, hum- 
ble, and reform them.. .they plead they arc not to blame, at least 
not so /nMcA to blame, because they cannot love you, they can- 
not like your ways, they cannot but abhor such rules and or- 
ders ; those very properties, on account of v.hich you are in- 
deed the most excellent man in the world, these are the very 
things for which they dislike you, while, in the mean time, they 
can most heartily love theircompanioos in vice and debauchery: 
And now the question is, whether their inability to love you 
renders them any the less to blame : or, whether it be not ve- 
rv provoking in them, to plead, in excuse forthemsilves, that 
they cannot lave )ou ; when \.\\i:'w cannot arises from their vol- 
untary contrariety to all good, and love to debauchery ; and 
not at all from any unloveliness of your person or ways ; or for 
want of advantages to be acquainted with you, and with the 
beauty of your temper and conduct. The application is easy. 

IHbTIN'it ISIJilU rnOM ALL COUtiTtaft.lTS, '^S7 

Was it anv excuse forlhc ill-will of ihc nvalicious P/iarisfr-f to- 
ward'j Christ, that they couU not \o\c him. .. .that tliey couU not 
but hate him ? Uitl ever aiiy man look upon a malicious, spiteful 
neiq;lil)or, and think him any the less to blame for his abundant 
iU-cairiage....for his being so exceedinj^ly ill-natured that it was 
not in his heart to do ollicrwise ? I appeal to the common sense 
of all mankind. 

If such an inability can excuse mankind, then the devils, up- 
on the same footing, may be excused too : And the more any 
of God's subjects hate him, the less will diey be to blame ; for 
the more any do really hate (iod, the less able will diey be to 
love him ; — the more averse to his law, the less able to keep it : 
And, therefore, since our inability arises from such a root, the 
more unable we are to love God with all Oiu- hearts, and yield a 
perfect obedience to all his laws, the more vile, guilty, hell- 
<ieser\ing we are, and the more unworthy of pity : So that our 
moral inability and impotcncy, or rather obatinacy^ was, in the 
nature of things, so lar from extenuating our guilt and moving 
the divine pity, that it was the strongest evidence of our ex- 
ceeding vileness, and, as it were, a mighty bar and great discour- 
agement in the way of God's ever entertaining any designs of 
mercy towards us : It was like the great mountains ; so that 
iiothing but infmite goodness could have ever surmounted it : 
And in tliis light mwst we view ourselves and cur inability, and 
become sell-condemned before God, or we shall never like it 
that God looks upon us as he does, nor ever be able to look up- 
on his grace in the gospel in the some light with him, nor can 
we ever heartil)" approve of and fiill in with that way of salvation. 

When we are under sufficient outward advantages to come to 
know what kind of Being God is, and yet, after all, see no beau-, 
ty in him, nor esteem him, it must be either because we are in- 
tolerably bad in our temper, or else because he is not ti"uly,and, 
indeed, a lovely and amiable Being. When we say we cannot 
love him, under a fond notion that we are hereby excused and 
are not to blame, we implicitly sav, that we are well enough dis- 
posed, and are of a good temper, but God is such an hateful Be- 

O o 


ing that we cannot love him ; — there is nothing in him to be lov- 
ed : So that to say we cannot, under a notion of extenuating 
our guilt, casts the highest reflection upon God imaginable, and 
indeed is big with the blackest blasphemy. We had as good say, 
*' It is not owing to us that we do not love God, but to him.-— 
" We would readily love him, if there was any thing in him for 
" us to love J but there is not, and so we cannot — and therefore 
" are not to blame." 

To suppose, therefore, that God, in the gospel, considers us 
as being the less to blame for this our inability, and from thence 
is moved to pity us, is the very same thing in effect as to sup- 
pose that God owns himself a hateful, unlovely Being, and 
thinks it a great hardship that his poor creatures should be for- 
ced to love him, or be damned ; and therefore repents that ev- 
er he was so severe, or ever made such a law, and is sorry for 
them, and will do better by them for time to come : But how 
horrid a thought is this ! It casts the highest reflection upon 
God, and upon his holy law, and quite destroys all the grace of 
the gospeL No, no ! God knew well enough how the case 
stood : He was conscious of his own infinite excellency, and 
of the infinite reasonableness of his law : He knew the hellish 
temper of an apostate, rebellious race ; and verily he was God, 
and not zwan, or he would have doomed the whole world to de- 
struction without any pity, or so much as one thought of mercy. 
Herein xvas love^ not that xve loved God, but that God loved w.v, 
and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins-....\. John iv. 10. 
While xve were sinners and ejiemies, (Rom. v. 8, 10), and most 
strongly averse to a reconciliation. ...II. Cor. v. 20. 

4. Nor did his designs of mercy take their rhc from any eX' 
pcctation that a rebellious, guilty, per ishmg xvorld xvould be so 
good as, of their accord^ ever heart i/y to thank hivifor it. No, he 
knew well enough how it would be — that many would make 
light of it, and go their ways, one to his farm, another to his 
merchandize ; and that others would be affronted, and some so 
very angry that they would take his messengers, and stone one, 
and beat another, and kill another, imd finally would crucify his 


Son : And he expected that mankind in general wouUl l>c dis- 
posed to hale In-law, and pineii his gospel, and resibi his spir- 
it ; and never one, in ;ill the world, repent and convert, and 
come and humljlc himself before him, bless his holy name, 
unless broiigiuihereio by his own all-conquering grace.... J/(//. 
XXI. 33 — 39, and xxii. 1 — 7 — LuiexW. 16 — 23 — I. Cor. iii. 6, 7. 

So that, from the who e, it is very plain God was not moved 
to tntvrtain thoughts of mercy towards mankind, ntiihcr under 
a notion that Uie\ had been, in any respect, hardly dealt with... 
nor under a notion that their impotency rendered them in any 
measure excusable.. .nor under a notion that there was any good 
in them or to be expected from them ; but, on the contrary, he 
looked upon the origintd consiiluiion with Adam to be holv, 
just, and good — and that, upon that footing, all mankind deser- 
ved ruin ; and he looked upon the law of nature also holv, 
just, and good — and that, upon that footing, a wicked world de- 
ser\'ed his everlasting wrath ; and he looked upon them alto- 
gether criminal for their impotency ; — in a word, he looked up- 
on them voluntary in their rebellion, and obstinate in their en- 
mit^•, and iniinitely unworthy of the least pity — yea, so unwor- 
thy of pity, that, to secure his own honor, and to save himself 
from just reproach, while he pitied them, and showed them racr- 
cv, he thought it needlul that his own Son should become a 
Mediator, and bear their sin and sufler for their guilt, and so 
open a way for the honorable exercise of his mercy. 
To conclude, therefore, 

5. It is evident that his designs of mercy took their rise mere- 
lij, abnolutt'lif^ and entirely from lumsef..,.from his own infinite 
benevolence. ..frojn his self moving goodness and sovereign grace. 
God so loved the world — 

As for us, we lay in the open field of perdition, polluted, per- 
ishing in our blood and guilt ; and it was perfectly right that 
the righteous sentence of the law should be executed upon us : 
And God had been forever glorious in the everlasting ruin of a 
rebellious world. There was nothing in our circumstances, all 
tilings considered, of the nature of a motive to pity : We were 


too bad to deserve any pity or relief ; — ^yea, so bad, that the 
gi-eat Governor of the world could not, without counteracting 
51II good rules of government, show any mercy but by the 
interposition of his own Son, to stand and die in our room and 
stead : So that, instead of any motive to pity, there was every 
thing to the contrary. — Our infinite ill-desert lay as an infinita 
bar in the way. Here, now,was an opportunity for infinite good- 
ness and self-moving mercy to exert itself, in the most illustrious 
manner, in designing mercy. providing a Mediator, and in 
opening a door for the exercise of much grace to mankind in 
general, and of special saving mercy in ten thousand thousand 
instances. There was nothing, ab extra, from without God 
himself, to move and put him on to such a wonderful and glo- 
rious enterprise. The motion was wholly from himself.. .irom 
his self-moving goodness.. ..from his good pleasure, according 
to the counsel of his own W\\\„..Eph. i. 3 — 12 : No wonder, 
therefore, the gospel every where celebrates the love and good-' 
ness, mercy and grace of God, as being rich and free, unparal- 
leled, unspeakable, inconceivable, infinitely great and glorious, 
as discovered in this most wonderful of all God's works : And 
to suppose that God was under any obligations to show these 
favors, would be to undermine and overthrow the whole gos- 
pel, and turn a deed of xht freest Tiwd greatest grace mto a work 
of mere justice. — Thus we see whence God's thoughts of mer- 
cy, towards a sinful, guilty world, had their rise. 

He had in view a great variety of glorious designs, all infi- 
nitely wise. ...all suited to display the glorious perfections of his 
nature, and bring everlasting honors to his great name : He 
designed to destroy the works of the devil.. ..Gf/z. iii. 15 — I. 
yohn iii. 8. Satan had induced mankind to their rebellion ; 
and had, perhaps, in his conceit too, made himself strong against 
the Almighty : lie first rebelled himself, and now he had brought 
others to join with him, and in this world he intended to rule 
and reign ; and, by the whole, bring much reproach upon the 
rightful Lord of heaven and eai th. God v.rovight, therefore, 
for his great name's sake, that it might not I)e polluted ; and en- 


tercd upon mctliotls to defeat his designs, and hiing his kinj^- 
doni to nouf^lit, -.uul crush the rebellion, and put liiin to open 
shame — and at length bind hini up in his chains, that he should 
deceive the nations of tlic earth no more — and give all nations, 
languages, and tongues, to Jesus Christ, ;md bring the whole 
world into subjection to him..../i?rt'. xx. 1 — k He designed 
to display his glorious grace, in bringing millions of this sedu- 
ced, apostate race from the jaws of eternal destruction to eter- 
nal glory.. ..A'c/w. ix. 23 — Epii. ii. 7. He designed to put all 
mankind in a new state of probation, and to display his glorious 
goodness, patience, forbearance, and long-suffering, in his deal- 
ings with the obstinate and finally Impenitent in this world, and 
his glorious holiness and justice in their everhisting punishment 
in the world to come, in the same lake of fire and brimstone 
which was prepared for the devil and his angels, with whom 
they had joined in their rebellion against the Majesty of heaven 
....A Is xiv. 17 — Rom. ii. 4, and xix. 22 — Mat.Tiw. 41 : — In a 
word, he designed to take occasion, from the apostacy of man- 
kind, in the innumerable instances in this world, and through- 
out eternal ages in the world to come, .to display all his glori- 
ous perfections : and so, by his whole conduct, to exhibit a 
most perfect and exact image of himself. 

Thus vvc see that his designs of mercy towards a rebellious, 
guilt)', undone world, took their rise, not from any motives in 
us, but altogether from motives in himself— from the infinite, 
boundless goodness of his nature, and his sovereign good plea- 
sure : And in this light must wc view the grace of the gospel ; 
and all our encouragements to hope in his mercy, through Je- 
sus Christ, must take their rise, not from any thing in oursehes, 
but only from that self-moving goodness and free giace which 
he has manifested through Jesus Christ.. ../^5;/z. iii. 19, 20, 24 
— Eph. ii. 8. 

And thus we see that his end, as to the elect, was to bring 
them back from their apostacy, their rebellion, and v.ickcdness, 
and ruin, to God, their rightful Lord and Sovereign, to become 
his servants, to love him, and live to hlni, and live upon him, 


and be blessed in him forever : And in this light must we view 
the gospel ; and with this its design must we heartily fall in. 
And being encourgcd, by the grace of the gospel, to hope for 
acceptance in the sight ofGod, through Jesus Christ, we must, 
through Christ, give up ourselves to God, to be his ser- 
vants (orevcr.. ..Luke \. 74, 75 — II. Cor. v. 20 — Rom.xu.l — 
Tit. ii. 11 — 14. 

From what has been said, it will be very natural to make 
these following remarks : 

Rem. 1. If all God has done in the gospel, for our recove- 
ry from ruin, be of mere free grace, then it is seli-evident that 
God was under no obligations to afallen^ sinful^ guilty^ rebellious 
world ; but, as for us, might have, consistent with all his perfect 
tioiis, left us in ruiti, to inherit the fruit of our doings^ and the 
punishment of our sin. He was under no obligation to provide 
a Redeemer, or a give the least hint of a pardon, 
or take any methods to recover us from the power of sin. He 
was under no obligations to deal any better by us, than would, 
in the whole, be no worse than damnation. By the constitu- 
tion with Adam, and by the law of nature, this would have 
been our proper due. Every thing, therefore, whereby our 
circumstances have been rendered better than the circumstan- 
ces of the damned, God was under no obligations unto ; but 
all, over and above that, bus been of free and sovereign grace. 
God was at liberty, as to us, not to have done any of these things 
for us : Yea, there were on our ^art mighty hi nde ranees to pre- 
vent the mercy of God, and to put a bar in the way of the free 
and honoraljle exercise of his grace : even such hinderances, that 
nothing could remove them, but the blood of Christ. Hence, 

Rem. 2. Mankindxvere, by their fall, brought into a state of 
being irfinitcly xoorse than not to be. I'hc damned in hell, no 
doubt, lu-c in such a state, else their punishment would not be 
infinite; as justice requires it should be: But mankind, by 
the fall, were brought into a state, ior substance,* as bad as that 

• For substance, I say, because it must be remembered that the superad- 
ded punislimcnt iuHicted upon any in hell, lor des])isiiig the gospel, must 


Nvhich the damned are in : For the dt-.mned undcrj^o nothing 
in hell, hut what, hy the constitution with Adam, and the law 
of nature, all mankind were, and would have been, lor suhstance, 
exposed unto, if mcic grace had not prevented. And, accord- 
ing to what was hut now observed, (lod was under no more 
obligation to grant any relief to mankind, in this their fallen, 
sinful, guilty, undone condition, than he is now to the damned 
in hell ; i. e. under no obligations at all : but the way for mer- 
cy to come to them was mightily barred and blocked up, by 
the infmite reasonableness of their being punished, and their 
infinite unv/orthincss, in the very nature of things, as the ca"^e 
then stood, of ever being pitied : So that mankind were, by 
the fall, brought into a state of being, (in scripture called con- 
dt'mnation 7xx\i\ zL'r(itli.,..Rom, v. 18 — Epii. ii. 3,) for substance, 
as bad as that which the damned are in ; so that, if the damned 
are in a state of being infinitely worse than not to be, as no 
doubt they arc, then so also were mankind : And mankind be- 
ing actually brought into such a state by the full, is what renders 
the grace of the gospel so inconceiveble, so unspeakable in its 
greatness, and so absolutely free. To deny that mankind, by 
the fall, were brought into such a state, is the same thing, in ef- 
fect, as to deny original sin, and undermine the glorious grace 
of the gospel. 

Ob J. But ho7U could God^ consistent 7vith his perfections, put 
lis into a state of being tuorse than not to be ? Or how can ive 
ever thank God for such a being ? 

Aks. Our being brought into so bad a state was not ow- 
ing to God, i. e. to any fault in him, but merely to ourselves.... 
to our apostacy from God. It was our apostacy from God 
that brought all this upon us, in way of righteous judgment.... 
Rom. V. 18, 19. Our being in so bad a state is no more owing 
to God, than theirs is who are now in hell. They deserve to 
be in hell, according to a law that is holy, just, and good j and 

be left out of the account : For all this is over and above what, by the 
constitution with Atlani, and the Uw of nature, mankind were or ever 
would have been exposed unto. «■ 


we deserve to be in such a state, according to the constitution 
made with Adam, which was also holy, just, and good : and 
therefore the one ma)- be consistent with the divine perfections, 
as well as the other. It cannot be disagreeable to the holiness, 
justice, and goodness of the divine nature, to deal with man- 
kind according to a constitution, in its own nature holy, just, 
and good. 

Now, in as much as God did virtually give being to all man- 
kind, when he blessed our first parents, and said, Be fruiffuly 
wid multiply ; and in as much as being, under the circumstances 
that man was then put in by God, was very desirable. ..we ought, 
therefore, to thank God for our being, considered in this light, 
and justify God in all the evil that is come upon us for oiu" 
apostacy ; for the Lord is righteous, and we are a guilty race. 

Those in hell are in a state of being infinitely worse than not 
to be J and, instead of thanking God for their beings, they blas- 
pheme his name : but still there is no just ground for their con- 
duct : They have no reason to think hard of God for damning 
them ; they base no reason to blame him ; they have no rea- 
son to esteem him any the less for it : he does what is fit to be 
done : His conduct is amiable ; and he is worthy of being es- 
teemed for doing as he does.. ..and all holy beings will alwa\ s 
esteem him for it..,.(i?ey. xix. 1 — 6.) Therefore the damned 
ought to ascribe all fclieii- evil to themselves, and justify God, 
and say, "He gave us being.. .and it was a mercy. ..and he de- 
*' serves thanks ; but to us it is owing that we are now in a state 
" infinitely worse than not to be : God is not to blame for that ; 
*' nor is he the less worthy of thanks for giving us being, and 
*'for all past advantages which we ever enjoyed: for tlifi 
*'l;iw is holy, just, and good, by and according to which we 
" suffer all these things :" — So here : Mankind, by the fall, 
were brought into a state of being infinitel)' worse than not to 
be : and were they but so far awake as to be sensible of it, they 
would no doubt, all over the earth, murmur, and blaspheme the 
God of heaven. But what then ?... There would be no just 
ground for such conduct : AV^e have no reason to think hard 


of God — to blame him, or to esteem hi in any the less. Wijat 
he has done was lit and right ; his conduct was l^cauriful ; and 
he is worthy to be esteemed for it : for that constitutiun was ho- 
ly, just, and good, as has been proved : And therefore a fallen 
world ought to ascribe to themselves all their evil, and to justi- 
fy G(k1, and say, *' God gave us being under a constitution ho- 
*'ly, just, and good; and it was a mercy ; We should have ac- 
*' counted it a great mercy, in case Adam had never fallen ; but 
*' God was not to blame for this. ...nor therefore is he the less 
" worthy of thanks : All that we suller is by and according to 
" a constitution in its own nature holy, just, and good ;'* 
Thus mankind ought to have said, had God never provided 3 
Savior, but left all the world in ruin : and ihus ought they to 
have justified God's conduct — laid all the blame to themselves, 
and acknowledged that God deserved praise from all his works ; 
whicli, as tliey came out of his handsjxvere all very gooi^....Gcn, 
i. 31. 

Obj. But ahhough we ivere^ by the fall, brought into such a 
state of wrath and condemnation^ yet now zve are delivered out of 
it hij Christ ; for as, 'xwAdanXy all die, so, in Christ, shall idl be 
made alive. 

Ans. Before men believe in Christ, they are as justly expo- 
sed to divine vengeance, as if Christ had never dicd....y5//;2 iii. 

18, 36 : And there is nothing to keep ofl" vengeance, one mo- 
ment, but sovereign mercy ; which yet they continually affront 
and provoke....A*ow. ii. 4, 5 : And they are so far from an in- 
clination to turn to God of their ov. n accord, that they are dis- 
posed to resist all the means used to reclaim them. ..,yo//« iii, 

19. It is true, God is ready, through Christ, to receive return- 
ing sinners, and invites all to return through him : Thus Go J 
is good and kind to an apostate world, and offers us mere)'. God 
is not to blame that we are in so bad a case : our destruction is 
of ourselves, and the Lord is righteous : But still it is evident 
we are in a perishing condition, and shall certainly perish, not- 
withstanding all that we, of our own mere motion, ever shall do. 
If sovereign grace does not prevent, diere is no hope. 

F p 


Obj. But if mankind are thuSy by nature^ children of wrath 
— in a state ofbein^ worse than not to be^ and, even after alt that 
Christ has done y are in themselves thus iitterbj undone^ hoxv can 
irfen have a heart to propagate their kind^ or account it a blessing 
to have a numerous posterity P 

Ans. It is manifest by their conduct — by their neglecting 
their children's souls, and caring only for their bodies, that pa- 
rents, in general, do not propagate with any concern about the 
spiritual and eternal well-being of tlieir posterity. It is proba- 
ble, in general, the)' are influenced by the same motive that the 
brutal world ai-e, together with a desire to have children under 
the notion of 31 worldly comfort, without scarcely a thought of 
what will become of their posterity for eternity. 

As to godly parents, they have such a spirit of love to God, 
and resignation to his will, and such an approbation of his dis- 
pensations toward mankind,and such a liking to his whole scheme 
of government, that they are content that God should gov- 
ern the world as he doss.. ..and that he should have subjects to 
govern.. ..and that themselves and their posterity should be un- 
der him, and at his disposal : Nor are they without hopes of 
mercy for their children, from sovereign grace through Christ, 
while they do, through him, de\ ote and give them up to God, 
and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord : 
And thus they quiet themselves as to their souls. And now, 
considering children merely as to this life, it is certain that it is 
a great comfort and blessing to parents to have a promising off- 

As to carnal men, since they arc enemies to God and his ho- 
ly law, it is no wonder they are at enmity against his whole 
scheme of conduct as Governor of the world. Did they un- 
derstand how God governs the world, and firmly believe it, 
I doubt not it would make all their native enmity ferment to 
perfection : They would wish themselves to be from under 
God's government, and hate that he should ever have any thing 
of diirlrs to govern : As soon as ever they enter into the eternal 
world, iuidsce how things really are, tliiswill, no doubt, actual- 


iy be their case : — In a uord, ii mon heai tilv like the original 
consljtulion with Adam,ai» being, in itb own nuiurc, hoh', just, 
and good, this objection will, upon mature consideration, be no 
difficulty with them ; and il they do not. It is not any thing that 
can be said, will saiisly theui. But wicked men's not liking 
tlie constitution, does not prove it to be bad. 

Ob J. Jt ctmnot be thought a blearing to have children^ ^f^f^c 
jnoat of tlicm are likeUf^Jinally^to perhh. 

Ans. The most ot Abraham's pos,terity, no doubt, for above 
diesc three thousand years, have been wicked, and have pcrisii- 
td ; and God knew before-hand how it would be ; and yet lie 
promised such a numerous posterity under the notion of a great 
blessing.. ..6c;i. xxii : For, considering children merely as to this 
life, they may be a great blessing and comfort to parents, and 
ai\ honor to them -, but it is very fitting our children should be 
God's subjects, and under his government : Nor are they any 
the less blessings to us, as to this life,l)ciause they must be ac- 
countable to God in the life to come : 'Vhcv ma\- be a great 
comfort to us in this life ; and we are certain God will do them 
no wrong in the life to come. All men's murmuring thoughts 
about this matter arise from their not liking God's way of gov- 
erning tile world. 

Hum. 3. Then do ivebegln to make a just estimate of the grace 
...thefree^ rich^ and glorious grace ofGod^ the great Governcir of 
tlic xvorld^ displayed in the gospel^ ruhen we consider mankind ^\hrj 
and according to a constitution and a Imv, both of them hohj^just^ 
and good^actualhi in such a ruitwd state. Now we may begin 
a little more to sec the natural import of those words, God so 
loved the world : such a world was it, that he loved and pitied : 
a world in so bad a state : a p'rishlng world, sinful, guiltv, just- 
ly condemed, altogether helpk ss and undone : And to ha\e a 
door opened by the blood of Christ, for us to be raised from the 
depth of such ruin, \s wonderful grace indeed. And in this 
light docs the matter stand in scripture-account : for, according 
to tliat, by the offence of one, judgment came upon all to condr/n- 
nation ; and, by the disobedience of onCy many were made ((ji* 


constituted) sinners^ by virtue of the original constitution with 
Adam*..../?o»z. v. 18, 19 : And all the world stood guilty be- 
fore Gody by virtue of their want of conformity unto and trans- 
gression of the law of nature, or moral law....i?ow. iii. 9, 19: 
And hence mankind were considered as being under s/«, and 
under the curse of the laxv^ and under the xvrath of God.. ..Rom, 
iii. 9— Gal. iii. 10 — John iii. 16 — Rom, i. 18 : And under this 
notion Christ was appointed, to save his people from their sins^ 
(Mat. i. 21) — to deliver them from the xvrath to come, (I. Thes. 
i. 10) — and to bring it to pass, that whereas, ^i/ the disobedienct 
^fone^manyxvere made sinners jSO, by the obedience ofone^Tnami 
7night be made righteous. ...Rom. v. 19 : And hence the gospel 
so mightily magnifies the grace of God, his love and goodness^ 
as being unparalleled, unspeakable, inconceivable, passing knowl- 
edge. God so loved t lie xvorld^ siiys Christ.. ..God commendeth 
his love J saithPaul....//(?re/72 is love, says John. It has height 
and length, depth and breadth : It is rich grace, and the exceed- 
ing riches of grace. And why ? why is it so magnified and ex- 
tolled ? — ^Why, for this, among other reasons, because all this 
was done while xue did not love God., ..while we were sinners.... 
while we were ungodly. ...while we were enemies. ...while we 
were exposed to xvrath, guilty before God, perishing, lost, xvithout 
strength : Thus God has represented it in his word — his zvord 
which is the image of his mind, and which shows us how he 
looks upon things, and how they really are. — See fohfi iii. 16, 
36 — Rom. V. 6, 7, 8 — I. John iy. 10 — £ph. i. 7, and ii. 7, 8, and 
iii. 19 — Mat. xviii. 11, &c. 

Never, therefore, can a sinner rightly understand the gospel 
of Christ, or see his need of the provision therein made, or in 
any measure make a just estimate of the grace of God therein 
displayed, until he is, in some measure, convinced and made re- 
ally sensible, by the spirit of God, that he is actually in such a 
sinful, guilty, helpless, undone condition. This, therefore, is 

* Constituted sinncrx, it is in the oriKinal ; for it was by virtue of that 
primitive co'uititutlor with Atlum, thai his lirst sin laid all his posterity un- 
der sill, guilt, and ruin. 


at)3oUiuly nccfssaiy, in onlcr to a genuine compliance withtlie 
gospel by lailh in Jc-us Christ. Lukcw 31. ...lor thr xvliole 
net- J not aphysiciariy but they that are sick : And as this is rc- 
<|uisitc, in order to the first act of laith, so, for the same reason, 
must wo ;ill our days live under a realizing sense oi this our sin- 
iul, guilty, undone state, by nature, and in ourselves, in order to 
live by faith : And this will make Christ precious, and the grace 
of die gospel precious — and eflfectuallv awaken us to gratitude 
and th;u\kfulnoss ; for now ever)' diing in our circumstances, 
wherein wc arc better of it thim the damned, will be accounicd 
so great a mercy, and the eflfect of mere giace : And so far as 
we are from a clear sight and retUlzing sense of this our sinful, 
guilty, undone sUvte,so farshall wc be insensible of the precious- 
ness of Christ, and die frecness of grace, and the greatness of 
God's mere)- towards us. 

Thus, having considered the ^rof/zja'* upon which the most 
high God did look upon mankind as being in a perishing condi- 
tion, and the motives whereby he was excited to enter upon any 
methods for their recover}', wc proceed now more particularly 
to consider the xvaijs and means he has taken and used to bring 
it about. 




I am now, 
III. To sho\v what necessity there xvas for a Mediator^ and 
how the iviuj to life has been opened bij him ivhom God has pro' 
vided. It is plainly supposed that there was a necessity of a 
Mediator, and of such an one too as God has actually provided, 
in order to our salvation ; for, otherwise, it had been no love or 
goodness in God to ha\"e given his only begotten SoJi : For th^rc 
can be no love or goodness in his doing that for us which we 
do not need, and without which we might have been sa\"ed as 
well. Nor is it to be supposed that God would give his Son 
to die for a guiity world without urgent necessity. If some 
cl)caper and easiei: way might have been found out, he would 


surely have spared his beloved Son ; he had no inclination to 
make light of his Son's blood ; it was a great thing for a God 
to become incarnate^ and die ; and there must, therefore, have 
been some very urgent considerations, to induce the wise Gov^ 
ernor of the world to such an exi>edient : And here, then, these 
things may be particularly enquired into : 

1. What necessity was there of satisfaction for sin ? 

2. What satisfaction has there been made ? And wherein 
does its sufficiency consist ? 

3. How has the waj" to life been opened by the means ? 

4. What methods has the great Governor of the world enter- 
ed upon for the actual recovery of sinful creatures ? 

1. We are to consider what necessity there xvas of satisfac- 
tionfor sin. It was needful, or else no satisfaction would hav- e 
been ever required or made : And the necessity was certainly 
very great and urgent, or the Father would never have been 
willing to have given his Son. or the Son to have undertaken 
the work. ...a work attended with so much labor and sulfering. 
But why was it necessary ? I'his, I think, will appear, if we de- 
liberately and seriously weigh these things : 

(l.) That God, the great Creator, Preserver, and absolute 
Lord of the "whole world, is not only a Being of infinite under- 
standing and almighty power, but also a Being infinite and un- 
changeable in all vioral propensities : he loves right and hates 
wrong to an infinite degree, and unchangeably ; or, in scripture- 
language, he thus loves righteousness and hates iniquity. By his 
infuiite understanding, he sees all things as being what the}' re- 
allj' are : Whatsoever is fit and right, he beholds as being sucl^; 
and whatsoever is unfit and wrong, he also beholds as being 
such : And as arc his \icws, so is the temper of his heart — he 
infinitely loves that which is fit and right, and infinitely hates 
that which is unfit and wrong : or, in other words, he has an 
infinite sense of the moral fitness and unfitness of things, and 
an answerable frame ol heart ; i. e. infinitelv loves the one, and 
infinitely hates the other. From eternity, God has had an all- 
com{)rehensive view ol things. ...of .every thing that was possi- 


ble to be or that actually would be.. ..and of all tht relations one 
being would bear to another, and the relation that all would bear 
to him — and has seen what eonduct would l)c rigiit and lit ia 
him towards them, and in diem towards him and towards one 
another, :md what would be wrong : and, from eternity, it has 
been his nature infinitely to love that which is right, and hate 
that which is wrong : And this, his nature, has influence d him 
in all his conduct, as moral Governor of the world ; and he has 
given so brigiit a reprcsentatiwn of it, that this seems to be the 
first and most natural idea <if Cuxl that we can attain : It shines 
through all the scriptures.. ..through the law and the gospel, and 
through his whole conduct, in a thousand instances. 

God does not appear to be a Being influenced, acted, and 
governed by a groundless, arl/uniry self-wiil, having no regaid 
to right reason... .to the moral fitness and unfitness of things ; 
nor d(jes he appear to be a Being governed and acted by a 
groundless fondness to his creatures. If a thing is not right, 

he will not do it, merely because he is above controul is the 

greatest and strongest, and can bear down all before him....Grt7. 
xviii. 25 : And if a thing is wrong, he will not conni\'e at it at 
all, because it was acted by his creatures, although ever so dear 
to him, and although the most exalted in dignit\-, honor, and 
privileges ; — for instance, the sinning angels. ...sinning Ac/ant..., 
the Israelites in the wilderness, his |x,'culiar people. jNToscs, 
for speaking unadvisedly with his lips, shidl not enter into Ca- 
naan. David, the man after his own heart, he sinned ; and 
the sxuonl^ says (iod, shall not depart from thif hoitse : Yea, he 
spared not his oxvn Sony when he stood in the room of sinners. 
If he had been governed by any thing like human fondness, sure- 
ly it would now have appeared : And besides, if that were the 
case, he coidd never bear to sec the damned lie in die dreadful 
torments of hell to all eternity : Indeed, bv all he has r.aid, and 
by all he has done, he ajipears to have an infinite sense of the 
moral fitness and unfitness of things, and an answerable frame 
of heart ; and to be g(nerned iuid actuated by this temper, un- 
iler the directiou of infinite wisdom : Hence, as is his iiuturcj 


SO is the name which he has taken to himself, viz. the holy one 
of Israel. 

It is true he is a Being of infinite goodness and mercy ; yet 
that is not Tifond^ but a hohj propensity, under the government 
of infinite wisdom : that is, he considers the happiness and good 
of his creatures, his intelligent creatures, as being what it is. — 
He sees wliat it is worth, and of how great importance it is ; 
and how much to be desired, in itscli', and compared with other 
things : he sees it to be just what it really is, and has an an- 
swerable disposition of heart, i. e. is desirous of their happi- 
ness, and averse to their misery, in an exact proportion to the 
real nature of the things in themselves. It is true, so great is 
his benevolence, that there is not any act of kindness or grace 
so great, but that he can find in his heart to do it — yea, has 
an infinite inclination to do it, if, all things considered, in his un- 
erring wisdom, he judges it fit and best : and yet, at the same 
time, it is as true, such is the perfect rectitude and spotless pu- 
rity of his nature, that there is not any act of justice so tremen- 
dous, or any misery so dreadful, but that he can find in his 
heart, his creatures' happiness notwithstanding, to do that act of 
justice, and inflict that misery, if need so require — ^j-ea, he has 
an infinite inclination thereto. He r(*gards their happiness and 
misery as being what they are, of very great importance in 
themselves, but of little importance, compared with something 
else. He had rather the whole system of intelligent creatures 
should lie in liell to all eternltv, than do the very least thing that 
is in itself unfit and wrong : Yea, if it was put to his own case, 
if we could possibly suppose such a thing, he would make it ap- 
pear that he does as he would be done l)y, when he punishes 
sinners to all eternity. It was, in a sort, put to his own case 
once, when his Son, who was as himself, stood in the room of 
a guilty world — and his heart did not fail him ; but he appeared 
as great an enemy to sin then as ever he did, or will do to all 
eternity. His treating his Son as he did, in the garden and up- 
on the cross, immediately himself and by his instruments, was 
af. bright an evidence of the temper of his heart, as if he had 


damned the whole world. He appeared what he v/as then, as 
nuich ;is he will at the day of judgment : He is infinlie in good- ; yet he is infinitely averse to do any act of kindness, at 
t!ic cxpence of justice, from mere fondness to his creatures. 

And as his goodtv^ss is not fondness, so his justice is not cru- 
fltij. He inf.nitcly hates that which is unfit and wron^, and is 
disposed to testify his hatred in some visible, public manner, 
by inflicting some proportiona'.ilf punishment ; — not because sin- 
ners hurt him, and so make him angry and revengeful ; for their 
obedience can do him no good, nor their disobedience anv hurt 
....Job XXXV. 6, r ; — nor indeed so much because they hurt 
themselves ; far it they did wrong in no other respect, he would 
never treat diem with such severity : hut this is the tnuh of 
the case — the great Govenior of the world has an infinite sense 
of the moral fitness and unfitness of things, and an answerable 
frame of heart : and so he infinitely loves that which is fit, and 
commends and rewards it ; and infinitely hates the contran-, 
and forbids and punishes it ; — only it must be remembered, diat 
the rewards he grants to the good are of mere bounty as to 
them, because they can deserve nothing.... i?07n. xi. 35. Eut 
the punishments he inflicts on the wicked are pure justice, be- 
cause they deserve all.... 7?cm. vi. 2o : For although creatures 
cannot merit ,^300' at tlx; handsof God, from whom they receive 
all, and to whom they owe all, yet they can merit evil : Never- 
theless, rewards and punishments are both alike in this respect, 
viz. that they are visible public testimonies home bv the Gov- 
ernor of the world to the moral amiableness of virtue on the 
one hand, and to die moral hatefulness of vice on the other. — 
The one is not the effect of fondness, nor the oUier of cruelty ; 
but the one results from the holiness and goodness of the divine 
nature, and the other from his holiness and justice. By the 
one, it appears how he loves virtue, and how e?:'-eedingly boun- 
tiful he is ; and, by the other, how he hates sin, andhow nuich he 
is disposed todiscountenance it, by treating it asbeing Mhat it is. 
Thus, I say, in the first place, we must consider God, the su- 
preme (lovernor of the world, as a Being not onlv of infinite 


understanding and almighty power, but also infinite and un- 
changeable in all moral propensities — as one having a perfect 
sense of the moral fitness and unfitness of things, and an answer- 
able frame of heart ; or, in scripture-language, Hohjjwhj^holy^ 
Lord God Almighty.... the holy one of Israel: The Lord God gra~ 
cious and merciful^ but by no means clearing the guilty. ...Of j/u- 
rer eyes than to behold iniquity.... Who loveth righteousness and 
hateth iniquity. ...Who renders to every one according to their do- 
ings^ &c. Without a right idea of God, the supreme Gover- 
nor of the world, and a realizing, living sense of him on our 
hearts, it is impossible we should rightly understand the methr 
bds he has taken to open a way for his mercy to come out after 
a rebellious, guilty world, or truly see into the grounds of his 
conduct — the reasons of his doing as he has done. If we know 
God, and have a taste for moral beauty, we shall be in a dispo- 
sition to understand the gospel ; but otherwise we shall not.... 
yohn vii. 17, and viii. 47 : For, in the whole of this great affair 
of our redemption, he has acted altogether like himself. 

(2.) God is infinitely excellent^ glorious^ and amiable in being 
xchat he is. His having such a nature or temper, and, at the 
same time, being of infinite understanding and almighty power, 
renders him infinitely excellent, glorious, and amiable, far be- 
yond the conceptions of any finite mind. Isa.v'i. 3. ...Holy, ho- 
ly^ holy, Lord God Almighty, the xvhole earth is full of thy glory. 

Hence, God loves, esteems, and delights in himself infinitely : 
not indeed from what we call a selfish spirit j for could we sup- 
pose there was another just what he is, and himself an inferior, 
he would love, esteem, and delight in that other, as entirely as 
he does now in himself: It is his being what he is, that is the 
ground of his self-love, esteem, and delight. 

Henoe, again, he loves to act like himself, in all his conduct as 
moral Governor of the world, as entirely as he loves himsef; 
and it is as much contrary to his milure to counteract the temper 
of his heart, in his public conduct, as to cease to be what he is : 
And the plain reason is, that there is the same ground for the 
one as for the other, lie loyes himself, because he is most ex- 


cellent in being what he is ; and, tor the same reason, he loves 
to act hke hiniselt, because that is most excellent too : Ilecan« 
not be wiiling to cease to be ot that temper or nature he is of, 
because it is most excellent ; and, for the same reason, he can- 
not be willing to counteract it, because it is most excellent to 
act agreeably to it in all things : He is under necessity to lo\ c 
himself ; and he is under the same necessity to act like him- 
self.... (7r»i. xviii. 25 : Hence it is a common thing for God, in 
great earnestness, to say in his word, / will do so and ao^ and 
thei/ shall Ksow that 1 am thl Lord : as if he should say — 
" A guilty, rebellious race may tliink and say what they will 
" of mc, yet I am what I am, and I will act like mvsclf, and all 
" the world shall know that I am the Lord, i. c. that I am what 
" I pretend to be : They shall know it by my conduct, sooner 
" or later." 

(■3.) God cannot be said to act Hie himself, unless he appears as 
great an enemy to sin^ in his public government of the world, as 
he reallij is at heart. If his conduct as moral Governor of the 
world, the whole being taken together, should look with a more 
favorable aspect towards sin, or appear less severe than really 
he is, then it is self-evident that his conduct would not be like 
himself, nor would it tend to exhibit a true idea of him to all 
attentive spectators in all his dominions. If his creatures and 
subjects, in such a case, should judge of his nature by his con- 
duct, they would necessarily frame wrong notions of the divine 
Being: And he himself must see and know that he did not act 
like himself; nor appear, in his conduct, to be what he was in 
his heart. 

But God, the supreme Governor of the world, does, at heart, 
look upon sin as an infmite evil ; and his aversion and enmity 
to it is infinite. He looks upon it, and (wO speak of him :iftcr 
the manner of men) is affected towards it, as being what it re- 
ally is. But it is infinitely wrong and wicked, for us not to 
love him widi all our heart, and obey him in ever)' thing : The 
least sin is an infinite evil ; and such he sees it to be, and as 
such does he abhor it. The infinite evil of sin does not consist 


in its lessening God's essential glory or blessedness ; for they 
are both independent on us, andf.iroutofour reach : nor does 
it consist merely in its tendency to make us miserable : But, 
in its own natuix, it is infinitely wrong, in as much as we arc 
under infinite obligations to perfect holiness. Our obligations 
to love God with ail our heart are in proportion to his amiable- 
ness ; but that is infinite : not to do so, therefore, is infinitely 
wrong. But, as has been said, God has an infinite sense of 
the moral fitness and unfitness of things, and an answerable 
frame of heart : i. c. he infinitely loves that which is right, and 
infinitely hates that which is wrong : And therefore he infinite- 
ly hates the least sin. 

If, therefore, he acts like himself, he must, in his public gov- 
ernment of the world, his whole conduct being taken together, 
appear, in the most evident manner, to be an infinite enemy to 
the least sin : He must appear infinitely severe against it ; and 
never do any thing, which, all things considered, seems to look 
at all with another aspect. 

(4.) God, the supreme Governor of the world, cannot be said 
to appear an infinite enemy to sin, and to appear 17 finitely se- 
vere against it, and that xvithout the least appearance of a favora- 
ble aspect towards it in his conduct, unless he does ahvays, through- 
out all his dominions, not only in word threaten, but in fact pun- 
ish it, with infinite severity, without the least mitigation or abate" 
ment in any one instance whatsoever. 

If he should never, in his government of the world, say or 
do any thing against sin, it would seem as if he was a friend to 
it, or at least very indifferent about it. If he should say, and 
not do.. ..threaten to punii^h, but never inflict the punishment, 
his creatures and subjects might be tempted to say, " He pre- 
tends to be a mighiv enemy to sin, and that is all." If he 
should generally punish sin with infinite severity, but not al- 
ways, there would at least Ijc some favorable aspect towards 
ein, in his visible conduct ; and his subjects might be ready to 
say, " If he can suffer sin to go half unpunished, why not alto- 
*\;ether ? And if altogether at one time, why not at anoihcr ? 


" And if he tan abate the threatened puni^^hnunt in some dc- 
'* mcc, in some instances, why not allogciht-r, inall instances? 

ii there is no absolute necessity that sin should [)c punished, 
*' why docs he ever punish it ? But il it be absoUitely necessary, 
'* why does he ever suffer it to go unpunished V It would seem, 
at Icitai, by such a conduct, us if sin wusnot soexcccdiuglv bad 
a thing but that it might escape punishment sometimes — und 
as if (Jod was not such an infinite, unchangeable enemy to it, 
but that he might be disposed to treat it widia little favor : — In 
a word, if God should always punish sins, not one excepted, 
and that tliroughout ail his dominions, and yet not do it always 
>vith iiifinite scvcrltij ; but, in sonic instances, one in a mi. lion 
wc will say, should abate a little, and but a very little ; yet so 
n\uch as he abates, be it more or kss, so much does he treat 
sin in a favorable manner, and so much does he fall short of 
treating it with due severity, and so far does he appear, in his 
conduct, from being an infinite, unchung<.i'.ble enemy to it : So 
that it is very evident that he cannot, in his conduct, as moral 
Governor of the world, appear an infinite, unchangeable enemy 
to sin, witliout the least appearance to the contrary, in any oth- 
er possible way or method, than by always punishing it with in- 
finite seventy, without the least abatement, in anyone instance, 
in any part of his dominions, in time or eternity. And this 
would be to act like himself ; and in and by such conduct, he 
would appear to be what he is. But to do otherwise, would 
be to counteract his own nature, and give a false representation 
of his heart, by a conduct unlike himself. 

Thus, it is the nature of God, the great Governor of the 
world, in all his conduct, to act like himself : But he cannot be 
said to act like himself, unless he appears as great an enemy to 
sin, and as severe against it, as he really is, without the least 
iuad-jw of ihe contrary : but his conduct cannot appear in this 
light, unless hi- docs, in fact, punish sin with infinite seventy, 
throughout all his dominions, without the least mitigation, in 
atiy one instance, in time orctcrnitv : therefore it is the natuic 
of God, the Governor of the world, to do so ; and therefore he 


can no sooner, nor any easier, be willing to let any sin go un- 
punished, than he can to cease to be what he is :* For, as was 
before proved, it is as impossible for him to act contrary to his 
own nature, as it is to cease to be what he is : and he can con- 
sent to the one as easily as to the other. 

Hence, we may learn, this is really abranch of the Icnv ofna- 
turt\ That sin ahoulcl be punished : it results from the nature of 
God, the Governor of the world ; it was no arbitrary constitu- 
tion ; it did not result from the divine sovereignty. It would, 
in the nature of things, have been no evil for Adam to have 
eaten of the tree of knowledge^ had not God forbidden it ; here- 
in God exercised his sovereign authority, as absolute Lord of 
all things : Bvit in threatening sin with eternal death, he acted 
not as a sovereign, but as a righteous Govei'nor : his natiu"e 
prompted him to do so ; he could not ha\'e done otherwise. 
As it is said in another case, It is impossible for God to lie ; so 
it may be said here. It is impossible for God to let sin go laipwi' 
ished. As he cannot go counter to himself in speakings so nei- 
ther in acting. It is as contrary to his nature to let sin go un- 
punished, as it is to lie ; for his justice is as much himself, as 
his truth ; and it is, therefore, equally impossible he should act 
contrary to either. 

Hence, this branch of the law of nature is not capable of any 
repeal or abatement : For since it necessarily results from the 
nature of God, the Governor of the world, it must necessarily 
remain in force so long as God continues to be what he is. 
Besides, if God should repeal it, he must not only counteract 
his own nature, but also give great occasion to all his subjects 
to think he was once too severe against sin, and that now he 
had altered his mind, and was become more favorable towards 
it : which he can no more be willing to do, than he can be wil- 

• God's mild and kind conduct towards a ^ilty world at present, is noth- 
in,'7 inconsistent, with this; because mankind arc now dealt with in and 
through anudiutor, upon wlioin our sins /jtive been laid, and who has been 
viiide-a curse for us. In him our sins have been treated with inliiiitc sever- 
ity, wiihoui the k"ast ubatcineut. But for this, God's conduct, no doubt, 
would be very inconsibtcnt v/ith his perfections. 


ling actually to cease to be what he is : For, as he loves him- 
self perlcclly lor being what he. is, so he pcrlcttly loves to act 
like himself, and to appear in his conduct just as he is in his 
heart: Therefore our Savior expressly asserts, 'i'hut hcuvni 
and earth sfuiU pans awat/y Out not our Jot or tilde of t lit Unv 
shall faiL...^lAt. v. 18. 

(i.) But all this notwithstanding^ yet God did, of his infinite 
giOifneas (md xovcre'-gn grace., entertain designs oftnerci/ toTrcri's 
afiillen xvoru!....a rebellious^ obstinate, stubborn, sinful, guilt ij^ 
hell-deserving race, under the righteous condemnation ofthelaxu 
....a Unv, like himself, holy, just, and good. Particularly, he de- 
signed to declare himself reconcileablc to this sinful, guilty world put mankind iiuo a new state of probation. try and sec 
if they would rept-ntand return unto him, and to use a variety 
of methods for their recovery ; And to make way for this, he 
designed to reprieve a guilty world, for a certain space of time, 
from that utter ruin he had threatened, and to giant a sufficien- 
cy of the good things of this life for their support, while in a 
state of probation ; and he also purposed to gr:mt a general i e- 
«urrection from the dead, that those who should return to him 
and be reconciled might be most completely happy in the world 
to come. And because he knew their aversion to a reconcilia- 
tion, therefore he designed to use a variety of extemal means 
to bring them to it : And because he knew that mankind would 
be universally disposed to hate all such means, (not liking to 
have God in their knoxvlcdge), and cast them off, and get from 
under them, therefore he designed, in his so. ereign grace, to se- 
lect some part of mankind, (the Jews for instance) with whom, 
by his special providence. the more open or secret workings 
of his almighty power, such means should be continued. And, 
in the fulness of time, he purposed also to use equal, yea, great- 
er means widi various nations of the Gentiles : And because 
he knew that all external means notwithstanding, yet all, with 
one consent, would refuse to repent, and con\ ert, and be recon- 
ciled, therefore he designed, by his providence, and by the more 
common influences of his spirit, to take some fiu-thcr pains widi 


many, and tr\- them : And because he knew that this would 
never effectually persuade them, through the gi-eatpcrverseness 
of mankind, therefore he designed, by the special influences 
of his holy spirit, through his almighty power and all-conquer- 
ing grace, all their obstinacy notwitiistanding, yet to reclaim, 
and recover, and bring home to himself, a certain number in 
this world, and here train them up for eternal glory, and finally 
bring them thereunto — and all of his sovereign goodness, and 
all to the praise of the glory of his grace. And towar<ls the 
iatter end of that space of time, in which this world was to be 
reprieved, it was his purpose more eminently to destroy Satan's 
kingdom on earth and his influence among mankind, and more 
generally recover the guilty nations from his thraldom, and set 
up his own kingdom on earth, to flourish in great glory and 
prosperity a thousand years : Such were his designs, as is evi- 
dent by the event of things, and from the revelation he has made 
in his word of what is yet to come to pass. 

(6.) But as the case then stood^it was not fit tliat a7iy of these 
favors should be granted to a guiltif xvorld ; no, not anij thing 
that had so much as (^ all things considered) the nature of a mer- 
cy^ rvithout some sufficient salvo to the divine honor.* Indeed, 
some kind of reprieve, I presume, might have been granted to 
a guiltv world, so as to have suffered the human race to have 
propagated, and the whole designed number to have been born 
— a reprieve, all things considered, not of the nature of a mer- 

• Obj. But if Go:l could not, consistently •with his perfections, sheiu any mercy 
to a giiHty Korld -.without a sufficient salvo to his honor, hou> couL-! he, consistently 
•uito bis, provide them a mediator ? Was not this a great viercy .' 
And i^bdt salvo had be for his honor in doing il ? 

Ans. The very doing of this thing itself vtas to secure his own honor. 
This was tl»e very end he had nc\tly in view. Were it not for this end, 
a mediator had not been needful ; but a. guilty world might have been pnr- 
doned by an act of absolute sovereign grace. Now his taking such a glo- 
rious method to secure his honor, and the honor of his law,, and govern- 
ment, and sacred authority, had no tendency to misrepresent them : lie 
acted in it just like himself. His infinite wisdom, holiness, justice, and 
goodness, are all at once most perfectly displayed in this conduct of the 
supreme Governor of the world ; particularly, his intinite hatred of sin, 
and disposition to punish it, appeureil in the v.-ry act of appointing liis Son 
to be a sacrifice for the sins of the worl.l : For, in thisact, it was manifest, 
that he did choose his own dear Son should himself bear the punishment of 
sin, rather than let it go unpunished. 


»y : So the fullen angels seem to ho under some kind of a re- 
prieve ; lor thtij are reacrvcd in c/iain.Sy to the judk!;ment of the 
great day^as condemned prisoners... 1 1. J\tcr ii. 4. And hencc^ 
a number of them once cried out, Art thou come to torment us 
bejort the time f\...Mut. viii. 29 : Yet we are not tuugiu, in 
scripture, to look upon this as a mercy to them. But the scrip- 
tures teach us to consider our reprieve.. ..our worldly comforts 
....our means of grace. ...our space for repentance. ...the rthtrainig 
of providence, ;uid the common iniluences of the spirit, as mer- 
cies — yea, as great mercies.... A*o//2. ii. 4 — Laiah v. 4 — Dcut, 
X. 18 — Acts xiv. 17 — Rev. ii. 21. All tliese common favors, 
therefore, as well as special and saving mercies, were not pro- 
per to be granted to such a guilty, hell-deserving world, by a 
holy, sin-hating, sin-revenging God. This was not to treat 
mankind as it was fit and meet they should be treated : It was 
contrary to law that any favor at all should, without a mlvo to 
the divine honor, be granted them ; for, b\ law, the)' were all 
doomed to destruction : And it was contrary to the divine na- 
ture to do any thing in the case, that, all things considered, 
would have, in the least measure, a favorable aspect towards 
sin ; or so much as in the least tend to make him seem less se- 
vere against it, than if he had damned Uie whole world for their 
apostacy and rebellion. 

If God had set aside his law, which was the image of his 
heart, and undertaken and shown all these favors to a guilty 
world, without any aalvoio his honor, his visil)le conduct would 
have been directly conirar\ to the inward temper of his heart ; 
and by it he would have counteracted his nature, and misrep- 
resented himself, dishonored his law, rendered his authority 
weak and contemptible, and opened a wide door for the encour- 
agement of rebellion, throughout all his dominions — and, in 
cilect, gotten to himself the character the devil designed to give 
of him to our first parents, when he said, 2V shall not surely 
die^ (Cien. iii.4) — 1. e. " God is not so severe against sin as he 
" pretends to be, and as you think for — nor docs he hate it so 
" much, nor will he do as he says in the case." It there- 
fore infinitely im^Kissible. R r 


(r.) To the end^ therefore^ that a way might be opened for 
him to put his desigiis of mercy in execution^ consistenthj with him- 
self.. ..consistently xvith the honor of his holiness and justice^ law 
and government., and sacred authority^ something must be done 
by him in a public manner, as it were, in the sight of all worlds^ 
whereby his infinite hatred of sin., and unchangeable resolution to 
punish it, might be as effectually manifested as if he had damned 
the whole world. Merely his saying that he infinitely hates 
sin, and looks upon it worthy of an infinite punishment, would 
not have manifested the inward temper of his heart in such a 
meridian brightness as if he had damned the whole world in 
very deed : but rather, his saying one thing, and doing another 
directly contrary, would have been going counter to himself ; 
especially, considering him as acting in the capacity of a GoV" 
ernor, to whom, by office, it belongs to put the law in execution, 
and cause justice to take place : For him first to make a law, 
threatening eternal death to the least sin, makes him appear in- 
finitely just and holy ; but then to have no regard to that law 
in his conduct, but go right contrary to it, without any salvo to 
his honor, is quite inconsistent, and directly tends to bring him- 
self, his law and authority, into the greatest contempt. Some- 
thing, I say, therefore, must be done, to make his hatred of the 
sin of mankind, and disposition to punish it, as manifest as if he 
had damned the whole world ; to the end that the honor of his 
holiness and justice.. ..of his law and government, and sacred 
authority, might be effectually secured. To act contrary to 
his own nature, was impossible.. have no regard to the hon- 
or of his law and government, was unreasonable — a guilty world 
had better all have been damned. 

Thus, from the perfections of God, and from the nature of 
the thing, we see the necessity there was that satisfaction should 
be made for sin, in order to open an honorable way in which 
divine mercy might come out after a rebellious, guilty, hell-de- 
serving world. 

To conclude this head, the necessity of satisfaction for sin 
seems also to be held forth in the scriptures, and to be implied 


111 God's conduct in this affair. ' In the GUI Tcsianient, the ne* 
ccbsity ol an atonement lor sin was taught in t\ pes and Ii;;urt8» 
The man that sinned was to bring his offering before thcLord^ 
and lay hishamk upon it, and confess his sin over it — and sa, 
as it were, transfer his sin and guilt to it ; then was it to be 
slain, (for death is the wages of sin J and burnt upon tl»e altar, 
(for the sinner deserves to be consumed in the fire of God's 
wrath), and the blood Uiereofwas to be sprinkled round about, 
(fur ivit/iout sUeiUuig of hlood there is no remission J — nor was 
there ajiy otlier way of obtaining pardon prescribed but this, 
which naturally taught die necessity of satisfaction for sin, and 
led liie pious Jews to some general notion of the great atone- 
ment which God would provide, and to a cordial reliance there- 
on for acceptance in the sight of Ciod,... Ley. iv, and xvi — Hcl/. 
ix. But, in the New Testament, the nature and necessity of 
satisfaction for sin, and the impossibility of finding acceptance 
with God, unless through the atonement of Christ, is taught in 
language very plain and express ; particular!)- in the third chap- 
ter of the episde to the Romans. St. Paul having proved both 
Jexvs and Greeks to be under sin^ and all the world to be guillij 
oefore Go^, and diat every mouth must be stopped^ in the^ and 
second chapters^ and in the beginning of the third^ does, in the 
next p/ace^ enter upon, and begin to explain the way of salva- 
tion, b)' free grace, through Jesus Christ : — " We cannot," sa\ s 
he, " be justified by the deeds of the law, (Chap, iii. 20), but 
" it must be freely by gi'ace through the redemption that is in 
" Jesus Christ, (yer. 24) : But if we are not justified by the 
" deeds of the law....l\v our own obedience, how will God, our 
'' Judge, appear to be righteous ? If the law condemns us, and 
*' yet he justifies us, i. e. if he thus proceeds contrary to law, to 
**• cleai- and approve when that condemns, h.ow will he appe;u- 
*' to be a just and upright Governor and Judge, who, loving 
*' righteousness and hating iniquity, is disposed always to ren- 
" der to every one his due ?....\Vhy, there is a wa\ contrived, 
** wherein the righteousness of God is manifested in our justi- 
*•• fication without the law's being obeyed by us.. ..a w ay unto 


*' which the types of the law and predictions of the prophets 
" did all bear witness. ..»a way in which the righteousness of 
" God is manifested in and by Christ, (yer. 21,22) : But how ? 
*' Why, God hath set him forth to be a propitiation, to declare 
" his righteousfiess for the remission of sins that are past^ through 
" the forbearance of God — to declare^ I say ^ at this time , his right- 
*' eousness^ that he might be just, and the justificr of him 
" which believeth in Jesus.'''* The apostle seems evidently to 
suppose that God could not have beenjust^ had he not thus de- 
clared his righteousness ; and that he actually took this meth- 
od to declare and manifest his righteousness, to the end he might 
be just., 4, miQht act agreeably to his nature, the original stand- 
ard of justice, and to his law, which is the transcript of his na- 
ture, and the established rule of righteousness between him our 
Governor, and us his subjects* He set forth his Son to be a 
propitidtionfor the remission ofsin^ to declare his righteousnessy 
that he might bejust^ and the justifer^ &cc. 

Besides, The necessity of satisfaction for sin, and that even 
by the death of Christ, seems to be implied in our Savior's pray- 
er in the garden. If It be possible^let this cup pass from me; nev- 
erthelessy not as 1 7vill, biit as thou zvilt...»M!itt xxvi. 39 : And 
again, (ver. 42.) 0, my father, if this cup may not pass away from 
we, except I drink it, thy will be done — 'As if Christ had said, 
" If it be possible thy designs of mercy might be put intoexecu- 
" tion, and poor sinners saved, consistently with thine honor, 
" without my drinking this cup, O that it might be ; but if it 
" is not possible it should be so, I consent." Satisfaction for sin 
being necessary, and there being no easier way in which satis- 
faction for sin might be made, and a door opened for mercy to 
come to a guiltv world, consistendy with the divine honor, seems 
to have been the ver}' ground of the Father's willing him, and 
of Christ's consenting to drink that cup : And, indeed, is it 
possible to conceive why Christ should be willing to suffer 
what he did, or why his Father should desire it, were it not an 
expedient absolutely neccssar)', and nothing else would do, so 
that it must be, or not one of the race of Adam be ever saved. 


consistcnilv with tlic divine honor ? If it wan not 30 aljsolutc- 
ly ncccssury — -it there was some cheaper and easier way that 
would have done, why did the Father will this ? or how had 
Christ a sufiitient call to undertake it ? or, indeed, what need 
was there lor him to underl;ike ? or what good would it do ? 
Il bin was not, in very deed, so had a thing that it could not be 
pardoned without such a satisfaction, why Wiis such a satisfac- 
tion insisteti ujK)n ?....whya greater satisfaction than was need- 
ful ? Couid a lioly and wise God set so light bv the blood of 
his dear Son, as to desire it to be shed without the most urgent 
necessity ? Or why slv^uld the Governor of the world make 
more ado than \vasnecesr,ary,and then magnifv his love in giv- 
ing his Son, when mankind miglit have been saved without it ? 
Did this become the great (iovernor of the world ? or would 
God have us look upon his conduct in such alight ?... Surely no : 
Verily, therefore, such was the case of a rebellious, guiltv world, 
that God looked upon them too bad to be released, consistent- 
Iv with the divine honor, from the threatened destruction, un- 
less such a mediator should interpose, and such a satisfaction 
for sin he miulj ; and thereiore Christ acquiesced in his will, as 
being wise, holy, just, and good. And this being supposed, 
the love of God, in giving his Son, appears even such as it is 
represented to be — unparalleled, unspeakable, inconceivable ; 
80, also, does the love of Christ in undertaking : And ihus, 
from the perfections of God, and from the scriptures, and from 
Ciod's conduct in this affair, it appears that a full satisfaction for 
sin was necessar) , iu order to its being paidoned, or any favor 
shown to a guilty world, consistently with the divine honor. 

And if we, in very deed, did stand in such need, such an ab- 
solute, perishing need of a mediator, as this comes to^if God 
looked upon things in such a light, then nmst we see this our 
need of a mediator, and look upon things in this light too, and 
have a sense of this great truth upon our hearts : for, other- 
wise, we neither truly undersUmd what a state we arc in, nor 
what need we have of a mediator. And if we do not truly un- 
derstand what a state we arc in, nor our need of the mediator 


jGod has provided, how can we be in a disposition to receive 
him as he is offered in the gospel, and truly and understand- 
inglj- to rely upon him, his death and sufferings. ...his worth 
and merits, ...his mediation and intercession, as the gospel in- 
vites us to do ? 

To see our need of Christ to be our atonement.. see our 
need of his propitiatory sacrifice to open the way for the Gov- 
ernor of the world to be reconciled to us consistently with his 
honor, is a very different thing from what many imagine. Some 
fancy they want Christ to purchase an abatement of the law, and 
satisfy for their imperfections ; and then they hope to procure 
the divine favor by their own goodness. Some trust in Christ 
and the free grace of God through him, as they think, and yet, 
at the same time, look upon C^od as obliged, in justice, to save 
them, if they do as well as they can. Some, who lay not so 
high a claim to the divine favor, yet, by their tears and prayers, 
hope to move the compassions of God, and, by their fair prom- 
ises, to engage his favor, and would secretly think it hard, if, af- 
ter all, God should cast them off ; and yet they pretend to see 
their need of Christ, and to trust in him : But these are all ev- 
idently so far from seeing their need of Christ, that, in the tem- 
per and exercises of their hearts, they implicitly and practically 
deny any need of him at all ; to their own sense, they are good 
enough to be accepted in the sight of God, upon their own slc- 
co{int...,Rom. x. 3. Others, who have had great awakenings 
and convictions, and see much of their own badness, and do, 
in a sort, renounce their own righteousness. ...they look to be 
saved by free grace ; but, in all theexercisesof their hearts, see 
no need of a mediator, and have nothing to do with him : they 
see no reason why they may not be pitied and saved by free 
grace, without any respect to the atonement of Christ : They 
do not understand that they are so bad that it would be a re- 
proach to the Governor of the world to show them mercy, oth- 
erwise than through a mediator. Others, again, who talk much 
of Christ, and of faith, and of living by faith, and cry down 
works, and think themselves most evangelical, yet, after all, on- 


hf believe that Christ died for them in partiruujr, and that they 
ihall be saved : this is their Jliithy an<l this their tn:sting ia 
Christ ; whereby it is evident, they never truly saw their need 
of Christ, nor have they any respect to him under the proper 
character of a Mediator : But then do persons see their need 
of Christ, when, from a sense of what they are, and of what 
God is, they are convinced that they are too bad to be pardoned 
and acccjJted — so bad that any thing shoit of cUunnatlon is too 
good for them i so tliat it would be inconsistent widi die di- 
vine perfections, and to the reproach of the great Governor of 
the world, to show them any favor without some sufficient sal' 
vo to his honor : Now they see their need of Christ, and are 
prepared to exercise fuith in his blood, (to use the aposlie's 
phrase... /?a«i. iii. 23,) and not till now : for men cannot be 
said to see their need of Christ and his atonement, unless they 
sec that iu their case which renders his atonement nttdful ; 
but its being inconsistent with the divine perfections, and to 
the dishonor of God, to pardon sin without satisfaction, was 
that which made an atonement needful: Therefore sin- 
ners must see their case to be such as that it would be inconsis- 
tent with the divine perfections, and to the dishonor of 
God, to grant them pardon without satisfaction for their sins, 
in order to see iheir need of Christ and of his atonement. 
When they see their case to be such, then they begin to sec 
things as they are — to view them in die same light tliat God does 
— to perceive upon what grounds, and for what reasons, a me- 
diator was necessary, and why and upon what accounts they 
want one ; and hcreb)' a foundation is laid for them, under- 
standingly, to have a fidutial recourse to diat Mediator which 
God has provided, that, through him, consistently with the di- 
vine perfections, die)' may be received to favor . and so, from 
Clmst, the iVIediator, and from the free grace of God through 
him, do they take all their encoui-jgemcnt to lome to (iotl, in 
hopes of pardon and acceptance, and eternal life : And thus they 
look to be jwitifed bij free grace through tlie redemption that ia 
in yeaus Christy which is what the gosjjcl intends and proposes 


....Rom. ill. 24 : And from an increasing sense of their unwor- 
thiness and ill deserts, the\-, through the course of their lives, 
more and more, grow up into a disposition to live the life they 
live in thefeah^ by faith in the Son ofGod^ always having res- 
pect to him as their great high-priest^ in all their approaches to 
the 7nercy-seaty\\?i\'m^ access to God by him^ who has styled him- 
self the door of the sheep, and the xuay to the Father^ which is 
the very thing the gospel proposes, and irivites and encourages 
us unto. Heb. ix. 12.. ..By his onm blood he entered into the ho- 
ly place^\iVi\\ng obtained eternal redemptioti for lis : Ver. 24.... 
Into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God for us : Heb. 
X. 19 — 22.... Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the 
holiest by the blood of fesus, by a new and living xvay -which he 
hath consecrated for lis — and having an high-priest over the house 
of God, let us draw near xvith a true heart, in full assurance of 
faith. Rom. iii. 25. ...For him hath God set forth to be a pro- 
pitiation for sin, to declare his righteousness, that he might be 
just, &c. 

And a clear, realizing sense of these things on our hearts will 
lay a foundation for us to see how the gospel-way of salvation 
is calculated to bring much glory to God, and abase sinners in 
the very dust, which is that wherein the glory of the gospel very 
much consists.. ..i?om. iii. 27 — Eph. i. 3 — 12. And we shall 
leain to rejoice to see God alone exalted, and freely to take our 
proper place, and lie down in the dust, abased before the Lord 
forever : And indeed it is perfectly fit, in this case, that the rebel- 
wreteh should come do^vn, and be so far from finding fault with 
the great Governor of the world, and with his holy, just, and 
good law, that he should rejoice that God has taken such an ef- 
fectual method to secure his own honor, and the honor of his 
law. We ought to be glad with all our hearts that the supreme 
Governor of the world did put on state, and stand for his hon- 
or, and the honor of his law, without the least abatement ; and 
did insist upon it that sin should be punished.. ..the sinner hum- 
bled, and grace glorified ; — these were things of the greatest im- 
portance : and we ought to choose to be saved in such a way. 


to God honored, and ourselves hunihlcil : And U lse\i- 
dcnt this must be die temper of every one that comes into a 
genuine compliance with the gospel : Thus mvich concerning 
the necessity of satisfaction for sin. IJut here, now, some 
may l)c readv to enquire, 

nV/v it not as mxasarij that the ftri'cejns of the hnv shox:!d be 
ohrijcd^ as that the penalty should be suffered, to make ivatj for 
the sinner notonhj to he portioned^ but also to be received to a state 
offavor^andentitk-dto eternal life ? — To %\hich I answer, 

1. It is true, we need not only a pardon from the hands of 
God, the supreme Governor of the world, in whose sight, and 
against whom we have sinned ; — wc need, I say, not only to he 
pardoned. ...delivered from condemnation. ...freed from the 
curse of the law.. ^saved from hell; but we want something 
further : We want to be renewed to God's invigc.... taken into 
his family.. ..put among his children, and made partakers of his 
everlasting favor and love : We need not only to Ijc delivered 
from all those cvih which arc rome upon us, and which we are 
exposed unto, through our apostac^• from God ; but we want 
to be restored to the enjovmcntof all that ^ooJ which we should 
have had, had we kept the covenant of our God. 

2. It is true, also, that mankind, according to the tenor of the 
first covenant, were not to have been confirmed in a state of 
Holiness and happiness — were not to have hud ctern^ life, mcre- 
Iv upon the condition of being innocent, (Cor such was Adam 
bv creation), but perfect obedience to ever)' precept of the di- 
vine law was required.. ../?3w. x. 5 — Gal. iii. 10. The perform- 
ance of such an obedience, was that righteousness which wa^, 
by covenant, to entitle him to life. 

o. Since the fall, all mankind are destitute of that righteous- 
ness — nor can they attain unto \\.....RoWi. iii. 9 — '10. 

4. But our natural obligations to love God with all our hearts, 

and obey him in every thing, still remain : for they are, in 

their own nature, unalterable : They will be forever the same, 

so long as Ciod remains what he is, and we are his creatures. 

There was the same reason, therefore, after the fall, why we 

S s 


sliould love and obey God, as ever there was ; There was the 
same reason, therefore, that the condition of the first covenant 
should be fulfilled, as ever there was : It was reasonable, ori- 
ginally, or God would never have insisted upon it : and there- 
fore it is reasonable now, since our apostacy ; and God has the 
same {^rounds to insist upon it forever : but we cannot perform 
it ourselves ; it was necessary, therefore, that it should be per- 
formed b)' Christ, our surety. But perhaps some may still say, 

JF/ic/i Clir'ist had fully satisjiedfor all our s his ^ and so opened 
a xvaii for believers to be considered as entirely free from any 
guilt, why might not the Governor of the world now, of his sove- 
reign goodness and bounty, have bestowed eternal life, -without 
any more to do ? What need was there for Christ to fulfil all 
righteousness in our room ? — To which I answer — 

When Adam was newly created, he was from 
any guilt ; and why might not the supreme Governor of the 
world, now, without any more to do, have bestowed upon him 
etex-nal life and blessedness, ol his mere sovereign goodness ? 
What need was there that his everlasting welfare should be 
entirely suspended upon the uncertain condition of his good 
behavior ? Had not God just seen how it turned out with the 
angels that sinned ? Did he not know that Adam was liable to 
sin and undo himself too ? And why would he run any venture 
a second time ; especially, since the happiness, not only of 
Adam, but of all his race, a whole world of beings, now lay at 
stake ? If he thinks that if but one man should gain the whole 
world, and lose his own soul, his loss would be infinitely great, 
what must the everlasting welfare of a whole race be worth in 
his account ? And would infinite wisdom and infinite goodness 
venture and hazard all this, needlessly ? Yea, would such a Be- 
ing have done so, had there not been reasons of infinite weight 
to move him to it — something of greater importance than the 
eternal welfare of all mankind ? No doubt there was something, 
and something of very great importance, that influenced the 
infinitely wise and good Ciovernor of the world to such aeon- 
duct — somethinjj; so very grcaty as to render his conduct, in 


tliat afTair, perfectly holy and wise....jH'rfvTtly brauiit'iil, cx« rl- 
Icnt, and glorious, hdccs uol look like a nu*rc arl,i;nin' con- 
stituiion. It uas cIouIjiIlss ordered so, because (iodsawit 
was perl'cctly fit, and right, and best. But wliy was it fit, and 
right, and best.' Whatever the reusDii Nvas, douLdcss, for the 
same reason, it was fit, and right, .ind best, that the xtroni/ Ac/nm 
should perform the same condition. ...fulHl all righteousness, to 
the end that, by his obedience, we might be made righteous, 
and so be entitled to life in this way. 

It is certain that eternal life and blessedness v.ere not to have 
been given absolutely^ i. e. widiout any conrliiion at all, under 
the first covenant. Ktenial life was not to have been gianttd 
merely under the nf)lion of a^p-j//, from a 6Ct;<;/r/.'^/j benvjactor ; 
but also under the notion of a mvard^ from the hands of the 
moral Governor of the world. Perfect obedience was the con- 
dition : JJo ajid live.. ..Horn. X, 5: Disobey and die... X'->^\. \\\. 
10. This was established by the lav,- of the God of lieaven. 

Now, tlie supreme Governor of the world did this for 
some end, or for no end : — not for no end ; for that would 
reflect upon his wisdom. Was it for his own good, or his crea- 
tures' good ? — Not for his own good ; for he is sclf-suificient 
and independent : — not for his creatures' good ; for it had been 
better for them, their interest simply considcrcxl, to have had 
eternal life and blessedness given absolutely and uncondilional- 
Iv ; for then they would have been at no uncertainties.. ..not li- 
able to fall into sin or misery, but secure and safe fore\ er. It 
remains, therefore, that, as moral Ciovernor of the v.orld, he 
had an eye to the moral fitness of things, and so ordained, be- 
cause, in itself, in its own nature, it was fit and right. 

But whv was it lit and right ? i. e. W'hat grounds and reasons 
were there, in the nature of the case, why the great Governor 
of the world should suspend the everlasting welfare of his crea- 
ture, man, upon condition of his being in most perfect sulijec- 
tion to himself ? i. e. Why should he so much stand upon his 
own honor, as to insist upon this homage, at die hazard of his 
creatures' everlasting welfare ? i. e. Why did he look upon his 


own honor as a matter of so great importance ? — I answer, that, 
from the rectitude of the cU\me nature, he is perfectly impar- 
tial in all his conduct. It was not, therefore, from any thing 
like pride, or a selfish spirit, that he stood thus upon his 
honor ; the homage of a worm of the dust could do him no 
good : — nor for want of goodness, that he set so light by his crea- 
tures' happiness ; but it was fit he should do as he did — the 
rectitude of his nature, as it were, obliged him to it: For it 
becomes the Governor of the world, and it belongs to his office 
as such, to see to it, that every one has his proper due ; and 
therefore it concerns him, first and above all things, to assert 
and maintain the rights of the God-head : and this honor was 
due to God. 

He was, by nature, God, and Adam was, by nature, man ; 
he was the Creator, and Adam was his creature ; he was mo- 
ral Governor of the world, and Adam was his subject ; he was, 
by right, Law-giv-er, and Adam was a free agent, capable of, 
and bound unto perfect obedience ; he was Judge, to whom it 
belonged to distribute rewards and punishments, and Adimi 
was an accountable creature. Now he only considered him- 
self as being what he was, and his creature, man, as being what 
he was ; and he was affected and acted accordingly. He con- 
sidered what honor was due to him from man — what obliga- 
tions man was under to give him his due — that he was capable 
of doing it voluntarily — that it was fit he should — that it be- 
came the Governor of the world to insist upon it — that if he 
did not do It with all his heart, he could not be considered as 
a subject fit for the divine favor, but fit only for divine v.mth. 
He thus viewed things as they were, and acted accordingly : 
What he did, therefore, was perfectly right and fit. To have 
had no regard to his honor, but onlvto have consulted his crea- 
tures' welfare, would have been a conduct like theirs in Rom. 
i. 21, 25. ...T/iey glorified him not as God : — Tlinj %vor shipped 
and served the croaturc, more than the Creator.* 

* How God's puHinp A<'ain into a state of tritil W3.'^ con'.isK-nt with hi* 
aiiiiing merely at his hitppiiicss as his last end, I cannoi inicttistaiid : Sun* 


Now, since il»c sccontl Ailambccomca surctv, and stands res- 
ponsible to the Governor ol' ihc world, it was fit he should not 
only suffer the penalty oi the broken hiw, but obey its precepts 
too, in order to open a door for us not only to be pardoned, but 
also received to favor,and entitled to eternal life, 'lliere wa« 
I'le same reiison t\\t .iiroiiJ Aduni sliould do it, as that ihc first 
should.... The honor of God did as much require it : it was as 
m cdful in ordv:r to our beiiij^- considered as subjects lit for the 
divine f.ivor and eternal life : It becanie die Governor of the 
world as mucl\to stand for his honor with one as with the oth- 
er ; and he had as good reason to suspend the ^erlasting wel- 
fare of mankind upon this condition now, as ever : and lo have 
nhown n*) concern for the divine honor, ahhoygh God hud been 
openly affronted and despised by man's ajjostacv, but onlv to 
have reg;irded and consulted the welfare of the rebel under 
righteous condemnation, had been a conduct evidently unbe- 
coming the great Governor of the world. 

But again, we may view the casein anotherpoint of light : — 
According to the fust covenant, eternal life and blessedness 
were not to have been granted merely under the notion oing/ft^ 
from a sovereign Bniffuctor ; but also under the notion of a ;t- 
wardixon\ God, as moral Governor of the world — and perfect 
obedience was the condition. Do and Tree : — And while eter- 
nal life and blessednesss were thus promised, by v;ay of /tut/r^ 

I am, it must have been better, uiT^pcahably better, for Adam, his interest 
o.iilv considered, to have been innniediatcly confirmed in a state of perfect 
holiness and happiness, without niniiiiig such an awful venture of eternal 
ruin and dcjtruction : Nor is tliere any inua on earth that would choose, 
merely out of regard to his own welfare, tc» be put into a state of trial, 
ratliir than into a state of confirmed holiness and happiness, such as the 
saints in lieavcn arc now in : ar.d, therefore, I cannot but think that God 
had a greater regartl to something else, than to Adam's happiness. In 
this instance, it seems \T\3L\\\,fr<ttv fact, that God decs not make his crea- 
tures' happiness his last end. It is in vain to jilead, " that Adam could 
" not bs a moral agent, unless he was i/itr af^em — nor zjree cf^ent \v'r.\\o\it 
" being liable xo sin ;" for the saints in heaven arc moral agmu, 3i]t€\free 
agcnw.oo, and yet are not /I'aA/e to sin : Andif Gotl'a putting liis creatures a state of trial is not consistent wiih his aimi.ig merely at their liap. 
piness as his last end. then the whole tenor of God'.-; moral govrrnment is 
not consistent therev.-ith : fofi from first tr, las', it ha.s been his way to 
put his creatures into a state of trial ; even all his creatures who were ca- 
pable of moral goveriimcnt. 


to virtue, God's infinite love thereto was hereby testified, and 
the temper of his heart acted out and displayed. But God in- 
finitely loves to act like himself : — On this consideration, there- 
fore, it was necessary that the second Adara should fulfil all 
righteousness, in the room of a guilty, unholy world, to the end 
that the Governor of the world might bestow gi'ace, and glorr, 
and all good things upon sinners, as a reheard to Christ's virtue^ 
and so hereby testify his infinite love to virtue : And so still act 
like himself. It was God's sovereign pleasure to exercise his 
infinite goodness towards a ruined race, and his holy nature 
prompted him to choose this way ; for he always takes infinite 
delight in showing regard and respect to virtue^ in his moral 
government of the world. He translated Enoch and Elijah.... 
saved Noah from the general deluge. ...delivered Lot out of 
Sodom. ...promised Abraiiam a posterity numerous as the stars 
of heaven, and Phineas an everlasting priesthood. ...and a thous- 
and things more has he done — and all to bear a pi/hlic testimo- 
ny of his love to virtue ; — this is the thing which the King de- 
lights to honor. The very ground of his love to himself, is the 
virtue or holiness of his nature : — In this, his divine beauty and 
glory primarily consists.. ../ya/a/i vi. 3. He loves, therefore, 
to put honor upon the image of himself ; and, in doing so, he 
still reflects honor upon himself, the original fountain of moral 
excellence : and, therefore, according to \\\^ first covenant^ and 
according to the second^ it was equally fit that eternal life and 
blessedness should be given as a reivard to virtue, in testimony 
of his regard thereto. 

Thus, from the perfections of God, and the reason and na- 
ture of things, the necessity of Christ's obeying the preceptive 
part of the law, as well as suffering the penalty, in order to our 
being not only pardoned, but recei\ cd to the everlasting fa\ or 
of Ciod, and entitled to eternal life, seems evident. 

But, from scripture, the point mav more easilv be confirmed : 
For therein we are taught that he was appointed, by the (Wn- 
ernor of the world, not only to TrudK-r reconciliation for iniqiiity, 
but also to l>ring i7i everlUfStiiig righli'oiutficss... .Dim, ix, 24-— 

DUriNOV. liillLU FKUM ALL COU?t 1 F.KF KITS. *23 

And are assured that lie is become the end of t hf Unv for ri^ht- 
eou^ness to them that Mievr... Rom. x. 4 — And that, /;// his obf' 
Jieucc, mmvi are made righteous... .Horn. v. 19. But this work 
would not have been put ujion hino, had it been needless ; i. e, 
if God's honor and our saKalion could both have been secured 
wiil\outit; for then it had been in vain : — which to suppose, re- 
flccu much upon the divine wisdom, and quite undermines and 
nuUifies the love, and grace, and kindness of God herein to us; 
for we had been as well without it. With much evidence, there- 
fore, mav we conclude that it was necessar\" that the second Ad- 
am, Christ our surety, should obey as well as suffer in our room, 
in order to open a door for our justification and eternal life : 
And, accordingly, we may observe that the favors shown to a 
sinful, guilty world, on Christ's account, are, in scripture, prom- 
ised under the notion of a reward to Christ's u/Vft/^ ; for, upon 
making his soul an ojff ring for sin, which was tlie highest mt of 
virtue^ it was promised that he should see his seed.. ..prolong his 
day.<i....}uive the pleasure of the Lord prospering in his hands — 
and that he should see the travail of las soul, and justify many..., 
Isaiah liii. 10, 11, 12. 

Therefore, in order to a genuine compliance with the gos- 
pel by faith in Jesus Christ, we must see how i.w we arc fioni 
righteousness — that all our seeming righteousness is as filthy 
rags — ihat we have nothing to recommend us to God — that 
there is nothing in us rendering \x^Jit to be beloved by him, rr 
meet to receive any favor at his hands, but every thing to tl)c 
contrary, to the end we may sec our need of Christ.. ..of Christ, 
to be made of God unto us, righteousness, (I. Cor. i. oO) and 
our necessity of being found in him, having on his right- 
eousness, (Phil. iii. 9) : for this is the design of the gospel, 
to bring us to look to be accepted with (iod only in his beloved^ 
(Eph i. 6 — I. Peter ii. 5) ; and to be justified freely by his 
grace, through the redemption that is in festcs Christ, (Rom, 
iii. 24) without the deeds ofthelaxv, (vcr. 23); oiu selves be- 
ing considered as being, in ourselves, ungodly.. ..(Chap. iv. 
vcr. 5.) 


And under a sense how far we are iVom righteousness. ...that 
we have, after all the atti\inmctiis of this life, no righteousncDS 
fit to be mentioned before God. ...nothing fit to recommend us 
to his favor, but ;\re still, in ourselves, infinitely unworthy of his 
love, or the least favor from him ; — I say, under a deep, effec- 
tual sense of this, we mu3t live all our days, to the end that we 
may never venture to come before God, as the Pharisee did, 
emboldened t)y our own goodness, but always as the chief of 
sinners, desiring to h^ found only in Christ, not having on our 
own ricrhteoKSJiesSy but the righteousness which is of God by faith ; 
and so hereby be influenced to live the life rue live in the fesh^ 
hy faith on the Son ofGod^ as St. Paul always did, and as the gos- 
pel would have all others do.. ..I. Tim, i. 15 — Phil. iii. 9 — Gul. 
ii. 20, and iii. 11. 

To conclude — Thus, w'e see the grounds of the necessity 
there was for a mediator and redeemer, to make satisfaction for 
sin, and bring in eveilasting righteousness ; and so open an 
honorable way for mercy to come out after a rebellious, g\iilty 
world — and a \va}' in which sinners may, with safety^ return 
to God. 



I proceed now to consider, 

2. What has been done to make satif^acticnfor sin., and to an- 
swer the demands of the preceptive part of the law ; and where- 
in the sufficiency of the same consists. And, 

In the- first place, what has been done has been already hint- 
ed ; and it may be summed up in a few words : It compre- 
hends all that Christ has do7ie and suffered., in his life and at his 
death : For us he was born — for us he lived — for us he died : 
He did all on o?/rmr&;//?/, being thereunto appointed by his Fa- 
ther, hut because his obedience and sufferings were most emi- 
nent and rem.akablc, when, according to the command he hod 
received of his Father, he laid down his life for us, and offered 
himself a sacrifice for our sins ; and i)ecause, ^Idi a vic>r to 

niai i.NouisMf.n FROM All. couNTtRFtns. i27 

tliis, he became J! csh^ and dwe/t among us, ihcrt-forc the scrip- 
tures do more Ircqucnily atiribute ourrcclcmpiion to what was 
tlont; then. Hi*ncc, wc arc said to be recUemed by hln blood...., 
I. Peter i. IH, 1»J — To he just if ed by fits blood.. ..Horn. v. 9 : 
And all spiritual blessings arc frequently represented as the 
fruits and clTcets of his deat/i....Gi\\. iii. 13, 14. The sacrifices 
of the Old Testament pointed out this as the great atonement : 
And to this the penmen of the New Testament seem, in a spe- 
cial manner, to have their eyes, as the great propitiation for sin. 
Thus the first Adam was to have yielded a perfect obedience 
to the divine law in every thing ; but that special prohibition, 
touching the trte of knowledge of good and evil, was in a pe- 
culiar manner to try him, that it might be seen whether he would 
be in subjection to God in every thing ; So, in the garden and 
upon tlie cross, our Savior's spirit of obedience was tried and 
discovered, and his obedience was perfected and his sunerings 
completed ; and so here, in a more eminent manner, the law 
was honored, and justice satisfied — and so the door of mercy 
opened for a sinful, guilty world. But, 

Sfcondhj. As to the siijjiciency of what has been done to 
answer the ends proposed, let diesc things be considered : 

(1.) That the person undertaking, as mediator and redeem- 
er, was of sufficient dignity and worth. 

(2.) That he was sufficiently authorised to act in such a 

(3.) That what he has done is perfectly suited, in its own 
nature, to answer all the ends proposed. 

(1.) Jesus Christy the mediator between God and man^ as to 
his person^ was fit for the mediatorial office and work. He 
was of sufficient dignity and worth — being, by nature, God.^. 
eqiial with the Father. ...the brightness of his glory. ...the express 
image of his person.. ..FhW. ii. — Heb. i. He was God, (John i. 
1,) as well as man, (vcr. 14) — And therefore his blood was con- 
sidered and valued as being the bhod of God, (Acts xx. 28) — 
And hence it is c-AWcd precious blood, (I. Peter i. 18, H'.) As 
lo his person, he was equal with God the Father in point of 

T T 


worth and dignity : and it was as much for him to obey and 
dit; in the room of a guilty world, as it would have been for Gofl? 
the Father himself. In point of dignity and worth, there was 
none superior to him : He was upon a level with GodtheFath' 
er : He was his equal and felloxv. Zech. xiii. 7....Awake^ O 
sword^ against the man that is m>j fellow^ : He was as glori- 
ous. honorable.. lovely : He was, therefore, fit for the 
office. to answer all the ends of God, the Governor of the 
world — of his holiness and justice, law and government, and 
perfectl)'^ to secure the divine honor, viewed in every point of 
light. The infinite dignity of his nature, as God, made him ca- 
pable of an obedience of infinite moral excellence, and capable 
of making a full satisfaction for the infinite evil of sin : He could 
magnify the law, and make it honorable in a more illustrious 
manner than all the angels in heaven and men on earth put to- 
gether ; by how much he was more excellent than they all. If 
the Son of God obey and die, it is enough : God and his law 
are forever secure. Thus, his being, by nature, God, render- 
ed him of sufficient dignity for the office and work of a media- 
tor....//!?^, ix. 14. 

And this it was, also, which made him capable of underta- 
king : As he was God^ he was under no oblig-ations, on his own 
account, to obey a law made for a creature — and he had an ab- 
solute right to himself. Every person, that is a mere creature, 
is under natural obligations to perfect obedience on his own ac- 
count — nor is he his own to dispose of : But the Son of God 
was above a mere creature ; — he was a divine person, and, pre- 
vious to his undertaking, was under no obligation to obedience ; 
— he had an original right to himself, and was not, by nature, 
under the law ; he was, therefore, at his own disposal, and at 
filll liberty to undertake in our room : He had power to assimie 
human nature, and be made imder the law for us, and obey for 
us, and suffer for us ; for he might do what he would with his 
o\\n..,.'fohn x. 17, 18. Ihe sufficiency of Christ being thus 
originally founckil in his divinity — hence, this is the first thing 
the apostle to the Hcljicws inbists upon, in order to explain, 


clear up, and confirm the safety of ihe way of salvation through 
his bl'KK\....IIrO. i. 'I'o clear up ami conhnn ih«j saf-jly of the 
vav of salvation, through the blood of Christ, is evidently the 
scope and design of that epistle, as is manifest from the ten first 
Cluipters ; — particularly see Chapter x. vcr. 1*J — 22. And in 
order to show the safety of this way, he insists upon die excel- 
lency of his person, and the nature of his office. ...his being call- 
ed, appointed, and authorized, and his actually going through 
the work of our redemption — which, together with some occa- 
sional exhortations, digressions, Ike. is the substance of his dis- 
course, from Chap, i. v^r. 1, to Chap. x. vcr. 23. 

Thus, as Gou, he was of infinite diijnitv and worth — as God, 
he was at liberty to undertake. He had an estate (if I may 
so speak) of his own, and could pay the debt of another with 
what was his own, and purchase for us an inheritance : And I 
may add, that, as he was the S-jh of Gocl^ the second person in 
the trinity, there was a suitableness that he, rather than either 
of the other persons, should be appointed to diis work. The 
Father sustains the character of supreme Lord and Governor.... 
asserts the rights of the God-head. ...maintains the honor of his 
law and government : The Son becomes mediator between 
God and man, to open a door for God to show merc\' to man 
consistently with his honor, and for man to return to ("lod with 
safety : The Holij Spirit is the saiicliKer, to work in sinners to 
will and to do, and recover and bring them to repent and return 
to God, through Jesus Christ : Thus the gospel teaches us Lo 
believe.. ..i:/;/i. ii. 18. 

He also was made Jlcah^anddxvdt among ?/.?, and, for our sakes, 
was made under the knv, to the end that, in our nature, he might 
fulfil all righteousncaa^ and bear the curse : As he was one with 
the Father^ he was fit to be betrusted with his Father ^ honor ; 
As he was Lnmanuel^ God with us, he was fit to be betrusted 
with our salvation : As he was Gcd-man, he was fit to bea w.t^ 
diator between God and man. His hunumit!/ rendered him ca- 
pable to appear in the form of a servant^ antl tobeeome cUdicn: 
imto death : and his divinit'j rendered his obedience and suifer- 


ings sufficient to answer the ends designed. This is he of whom 
the text speaks, God so loved the ivorld^ that he gave his only he- 
gotten Son : He gave him.. ..he appointed him to the work.... 
he put him into the office.. .he anointed him, and then he laid on 
him the iniquities of us all^ and set him forth to be a propitiation : 
Which brings me to consider, 

(2.) That he was sit^iciently authorized to be a mediator be- 
tween God and man. take the place of sinners, and to obey 
and die in the room of a guilty world. God, the supreme Gov- 
ernor of the world, had sufficient power and authority to ap- 
point the first Adam to be a representative for his posterity, to 
act in their room ; and, by the same authority, he has appoint- 
ed his Son, the second Adum, to be a second public head 

I?o}n. V. 12 — 19. By divine constitution, the frst Adam was 
made a public person ; and, by divine constitution, the second 
Adam is made such too : both receive all their authority to act 
in that capacity from the constitution of God. The calling, ap- 
pointment, and authority of Christ, to take upon him this of- 
fice and work of a mediator and high priest, is particularly treat- 
ed of in the ffth Chapter to the Hebrexvs : He was called of God, 
as was Aaron^ (ver. 4) : He took not this high office upon him- 
self, but was invested with it by his Father, (yer. 5) : He was 
called of God an high priest^ ofter the order ofMelchisedec^ (ver, 
10) : His Father proposed the office and the work, and he v/iU 
lingly undertook. Lo^ I come to do thy will., Go(/....Heb. x. 7. 

God so loved the world^ that he gave his only begotten Son 

John iii. 16 : And hence Christ says. He did not come of him- 
self but 7vas sent of his Father.... John vii. 28, 29 : And that he 
did not come to do his own will., but thewillofhim that sent him.... 
John vi. 38. And his Father acknowledges him as such b\' a 
voice from heaven : Mat. xvii. 5. ...This is my beloved Son., in 
xvhom I am well phased ; hear ye him. 

Without such a divine constitution, the death of Christ could 
have been of no benefit to mankind : As, if an innocent man 
hhould offer to die in the room of a condemned criminal, and 
shuuld actually lay down his life, yet it could l)C of no benefit to 


the poor, unless the civil jjovcriuncnt had authorized 
him so to do, i. t-. unless, by aunic act, tlu\ had declared that 
his life should be accepted, in the eye ol'the law, instead of the 
crimlnars. The application is easy : Thus Christ was called 
and put inUi his mediatorial office, and authorized to the work 
by God, the su[)reme Governor of die w orld : And hence, ia 
allusion to the Jewish custom of anointing men, when advanced 
to some hij^h olFice and important trust — (so Aaron wda anoint' 
eel priest, and Du\ id was anjinUil kinv^,) — in allusion, I say, 
to this, he is called Christ, v.hich is, by interpretation, the 
ANOiNTKD : Thus, as to his personal dignity, he was sutlicient 
to undertake — and thus was he authorized to do so. And, 

(3.) What he has done is pcrJWtlij suitet/, in its oxvn nature^ to 
answer all the ends proponed : That is, to secure the honor of 
God.. ..the honor of his holiness, justice, and trudi....his law% 
go\ ernmeut, and sacred auihorit} — and so open a door lor ihe 
Iree and honorable exercise of his mercy and grace towards a 
sinful, guilty world, and away in which sinners might return to 
God wiUi divine acceptance. God, the supreme Governor of 
the world, knew upon what grounds there was need of a medi- 
ator.. ..what ends he had to answer, and how thev might be an- 
swered in the best manner. According to the counsel of his 
own will, in his infinite wisdom, he laid the very plan which is 
now revealed to us in the gospel : lie appointed one to be a me- 
diator whom he judged fit.. ..put him into the office, and ap- 
pointed him his work ; — all this work Jesus Christ has clone : 

He hixa finisha/ the rvork which the lather gave him to do 

John xvii. -1, and xix. o'd — And so has hctx\ faithful to him that 
appointed htm... .Yi^^h. iii. 2: So that herefrom we might be as- 
sured, that v.hat he has done is most perfectly suited, in its own 
nature, to answer all the ends proposed, although it were quite 
beyond us to understand how : But, b) the help of the word and 
spirit of God, we may be able to enter a little way into this won- 
derful and gloi iiAis m\ sterw 

It was ill ilie Jirst Adam, as the representative and public 
head of mankind, should, as a condition of the everlasting love 


atid favor of God, have continued in a most willing and perfect 
subjection to God, the Governor of the world, valuing his hon- 
or and glory above all things ; — this was God's due : This would 
have satisfied God's holiness ; for holiness is satisfied when the 
thing which is right and fit is done : — ^holiness wants no more, 
but is then content and well-pleased ; and, upon this condition, 
mankind might have been considered as subjects fit for the di- 
vine favor, and might have received the promised reward, to 
the honor of the divine holiness and goodness. Now Jesus 
Christ, the Son of God, has, by his Father's appointment and 
approbation, assumed our nature., ..taken Adam's place....done 
that which was Adam's duty in our room and stead, as another 
public head.. ..obeyed the law God gave his ci*eature — a law 
which he was not under, but in consequence of his undertaking 
to stand in our room and stead. The creature fails of paying 
that honor to the Governor of the world which is his due from 
the creature ; A God lays aside his glory... appears in the form 
of a sxjrvant, and becomes obedient ; and so, in the creature's 
stead and behalf, pays that honor to the Governor of the world 
which was the creature's duty : and thus the Governor of the 
world is considered, respected, treated, and honored, as being 
what he is, by man — i.e. by their representative Christ Jesus, 
God-man-mediator. And now, hereby, God's right to the obe- 
dience of his creatures, and their unworthiness of his favor up- 
on any other condition, are publicly owned and acknowledged : 
the debt is owned, and the debt is paid by the Son of God — and 
so holiness is satisfied ; for holiness is satisfied, when the thing 
that is right and fit is done : And now, this door being opened, 
mankind may, through Christ, be considered as subjects to 
whom God may shov/ favor consistently with his honor : yea, 
the di\iiie holiness may be honored by granting all favors as a 
reward to Christ's virtue and oI;edience. 

Again, it was fit, if any intelligent creature should, at any 
time, swerve at all from the perfect will of God, that he should 
forever lose his favor, and fall under his everlasting displeasure, 
for a thing so infinitely wrong : And, in such a case, it was fit 


the Governor of the world should be "mfmitclv displcnsed, and 
pul)litly testily his infinite displeasure, \>y a punishment ade- 
quate thereto, inflicted on the sinning creature. This would 
s.itisfy justice ; for justice is satisfied, when the thing which is 
wrong is punished according to its dcseit. Hence, it was fit, 
when, In a constitution hoi), just, and gooil, Adam was maile 
a public head, to represent his race, and act not only for him- 
self, but for all his posterity ; — it was fit, I say, that he and all 
his race, for his first transgression, should lose the favor, and 
f;ill under the everlasting displeasure, of the Almighty. It 
was fit that God should be infinitely displeased at so aljomina- 
ble a thing — and that, as Governor of the world, he sliould 
publicly bear testimony against it, as an infinite evil, by inflict- 
ing the infinite punishment the law threatened, i. e. by damning 
the whole world. This would have satisfied justice : for jus- 
tice is satisfied when justice tikes place — when the guilty are 
treated with that seventy they ought to be — when sin is pun- 
ished as being what it is. Now, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 
has, by his Father's appointment and approbation, assumed 
our nature.. ..taken the place of a guilty world — and had not on- 
ly Adam's first transgression, but the iniquities of us all laid 
upon him — and, in our room and stead, has suffered the wrath 
of God, the curse of the law, ofl"ering up himself a sacrifice to 
God for the sins of men : And hereby the infinite evil of sin, 
and the righteousness of the law, are publicly owned and ac- 
knowledged, and the deserved punishment voluntaril)- submit- 
ted unto by man, i. e. by their representative : And thus justice 
is satisfied ; for justice is satisfied when justice takes place : 
And sin is now treated as being what it is, as much as if God 
had damned the whole world ; and God, as Governor, appears 
as severe against it. And thus the righteousness of t^od is 
dcclaretl and manifested, by Christ's being set forth to be a pro- 
pitiation for sin ; and he may now be just, and \Lt jr.stity him 
that believes in Jesus. 

£if all this (he laxu is mag7iijied and made honorable. On the 
one hand, Were any in all God's dominions tempted to think 


that the great Governor of the world had dealt too severely 
with man, in suspending his everlasting welfare upon the con- 
dition of perfect obedience ? God practically answers, andsaj-s, 
" I did as well by mankind as I should desire to have been done 
*' by myself, had I been in their case, and t-hey in mine ; for 
" when my Son, who is as myself, came to stand in their stead, 
" I required the same condition of him :" And what the Fa- 
ther says, the Son confirms : he practically owns the law to be 
holy, just, and good, and the debt to be due, and pays it most 
willingly to the last mite, without any objection ; — which was 
as if he had said, " There was all the reason in the woi-ld that 
" the everlasting welfare of mankind should be suspended on 
" that condition ; nor could I have desired it to have been olh- 
" erwise,had I myself been in their case." — On the other hand. 
Were any tempted to think that God had been too severe in 
threatening everlasting damnation for sin ? Here this point is al- 
so cleared up. God the Father practically savs that he did as 
he would have been done by, had he been in their case, and they 
in his ; for when his Son, his second self, comes to stand in 
their place, he abates nothing, but appears as great an enemy 
to sin, in his conduct, as if he had damned the whole world ; 
His Son also owns the sentence just : he takes the cup and 
drinks it off : Considering the infinite dignity of his person, his 
sufferings were equi\alent to the eternal damnation of such 
worms as we. 

Tlius the law is magnified and made honorable ; and, at d.e 
same time, the honor of God's government and sacred author- 
ity is secured : and, I may add, so is also the honor of his truth ; 
for he has been true to his threatening, In the day thou eotest 
thereof, thou shalt stirely die : for on that very day the .second Ad- 
am virtually laid down his life in the room and stead of a guiltv 
world. He is the lamh alaiufrom the foundation of the ivorld : 
Sothainowdif leisno room left, for those who will view things 
hnparlially,t()have imdue thoughts ofthc Governor of die world ; 
nor any thing done to expose his government to reproach, or 
his authority to contempt: The honor of the divine jjovcrn- 


mcnt and authority appears as sacred and tremendous as if he 
had damned tlie >vh<)le world ; and although sii'.ners will take 
occasion to sin, and be encouraged in their \\'avs>, becituse gnice 
abounds, yet the Governor ol the world has not given the oc- 
casion. In his conduct, the whole of it considered, he ap- 
pears as severe against sin as if he had damned t'.ic whole world, 
without any mixture of the least mercy. The infinite dignity 
of his Son causes those sufferings he bore in our room to be 
as bright a display of the divine holiness and justice, as if all 
the human race had, for their sin, been cast into the lake of 
fire and brimstone, and the smoke of their torments ascended 
forever and ever. 

MoRF.ovr.R, by all this, a way is opened for the free and 
honorable exercise of mercy and grace towards a sinful, guilty 
world. It ma)' be done consistently with the honor of God — 
of his holiness and justice. ...his law and government. ...his 
truth and sacred authority : for the honor of all these is cftec- 
tually secured : It may be done to the honor of divine grace : 
for now it appears that God did not pity the world under a 
notion that they had been by him severely and hiirdlv dealt 
with, nor under a notion that it would have been too se\ere to 
have proceeded against them according to law. The law is 
not made void, but established. No reflections are cast upon 
the divine government: And grace appears to be free. ...taking 
its rise, not from any thing in us, but merely from self-moving 
goodness, and sovereign mercy. This way of salvation is suit- 
ed to set off the grace of God to advantage, and niake it appear 
to be what it is. 

Having thus finished the work assigned him, he arose from 
the dead. ...he ascended on high. ...he entered into the holy of 
holies, into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God 
for us, as our great high priest.... /A7;. ix : And here, as God- 
man-mediator, he is exalted to the highest honor....has a name 
above every name... .sits on the right hand of the Majesty on 
high, having all power in heaven and earth committed unto 
Kim, and ever lives to make intercession, and is able to save. 

U p 


to the uttermost, all that come to God through him. Such is 
the virtue of his righteousness and blood, and such is his honor 
and interest in the court of heaven, and such is his faithfulness 
to all that believe in him, that now it is perfectly safe to return 
to God through him, and venture onr everlasting all upon his 
worth and merits, mediation and intercession. Heb. iv. 16.... 
Let M*, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace. 

Thus we see what necessity there was of satisfaction for sin, 
and that the demands of the law should be answered : And 
thus we see what has been done for these purposes, and its suf- 
ficiency to answer all the ends proposed. The Mediator was 
of sufficient dignity, as to nis person. ...he had sufficient author- 
ity, as to his office, and he has faithfullj' done his work. And 
now the honor of God's holiness and justice, law and govern- 
ment, and sacred authority, is secured ; and a way is opened 
in which he may honorably put his designs of mercj' into exe- 
cution, and sinners safely return unto him. And now, before 
I proceed to consider more particularly what way is opened, 
and what methods God has entered upon for the recovery of 
sinful, guilty creatures to himself, I shall make a few rejnarki 
upon v.'hat has been said. 

Rem. 1. As the laxv is a transcript of the divine nature^ so 
also is the gospel. The law is holy, just, and good ; and is, as 
it were, the image of the holiness, justice, and goodness of 
God ; and so also is the gospel : The law insists upon God's 
honor from the creature, and ordains that his everlasting wel- 
fare shall be suspended upon that condition ; and the gospel 
says amen to it : The law insists upon it tliat it is an infinite 
evil for the creature to swen'e in the least from the most per- 
fect will of God, and that it deserves an infinite punishment ; 
and the gospel says amen to it : The law discovered also the 
infinite goodness of God, in its being suited to make the obe- 
dient creature perfectl)' happy ; but the gospel still more abun- 
dantly displays the infinite goodness and wonderful free grace 
of Ciod : The law was holy, just, and good, and the image of 
God's holiness, justice, and goodness j but die gosi)cl is more 


emincnily so : — In it the holiness, justice, and goodness of God 
arc painted more to the lite, in a niiinner truly suipiising, and 
heyond our comprehension — yta, to the amazement ol angels, 
who desire to look and [try- into this wonderful contrivance,.., 

I. J'tt. i. 12. 

Here, in this glass, the glorA' of the Lord is to be beheld.... 

II. Cor. lii. 18. The glory ofCiod is to I)e seen in the face of 
C/irist. ...II. Cor. iv. 6. What has been done by him in this 
aftair, discovers the glorious moral beauty of the divine nature. 
Much of God is to be seen in the moral law.. is his image : 
but more of God is to be seen in the gospel ; for herein his im- 
age is exhibited more to the life — more clearly and conspicu- 

The moral excellence of the moral lav/ sulHciently evidences 
that it is from God ; it is so much like God, that it is evident 
that it is from God : So the moral excellence of the gospel suf- 
ficiently evidences that it is from Ciod : it is so much like him, 
that it is evident that it is from him : It is his very image — 
therefore it is his offspring : it is a copy of his moral perfec- 
tions, and they are the original : It is so much like God, that 
it is perfectly to his mind ; — he is pleased with it. ...he delights 
to save sinners in this way ; and if ever this gospel becomes 
the poNVcr of God to our salvation, it will make us like unto 
God — it will transform us into his image, andwc shall be plea- 
sed with this way of salvation, and delight to be saved in such 
a way ; a Wi.*' wherein God is honored.. ..the sinner humbled.... 
tlie law established... .sin discountenanced. ...boasting excluded, 
and grace glorified. 

If any man has a taste for moral excellence. ...a heart to ac- 
count God glorious for being what he is, he cannot but see 
the moral excellence of the law, and love it, and conform 
to it ; because it is the image of God : and so he cannot but 
see the moral excellence of the gospel, and believe it, and 
love it, and comply with it; for it is also the image of God. 
He that can see the moral beauty of the original, cannot but see 
the moral beauty of the image drawn to the life : He, Uiere- 


fore, that despises the gospel, and is an enemy to the law, 
even he is at enmity against God himself.. ../?o?n. viii. 7. Ig- 
norance of the glory of God, and enmity against him, makes 
men ignorant of the glory of the law and of the gospel, and en- 
emies to both. Did men know and love him that begat, they 
zvould Icve that which is begotten ofhi}H....l. John v. 1. lie 
that is of God, hcarcth God''s xvords ; ye, therefore, hear them 
vot, because ye are not ofGod... .]ohn viii. 47. 

And therefore a genuine compliance with the gospel sup- 
poses that he who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, 
shines in the heart, to give the light of the knorvledge of the glo- 
ry of God in the face of fesus Christ. ...II, Cor. iv. 6 : And a 
sight and sense of the moral excellence of the gospel-way of 
salvation assures the heart of its divinity ; and hereby a super- 
natural anddivine assent to the truth of the gospel is begotten 
in the heart. And a sense of the infinite dignity of the Medi- 
ator, and that he was sent of God, and that he has finished the 
work which was given him to do, and so opened and conse- 
crated a new and living way of access to God.... together with 
a sense of the full and free invitation to sinners to return to 
God in this way, given in the gospel, and the free grace of God 
therein discovered, and his readiness to be reconciled ; — a spir- 
itual sight and sense of these things, I say, emboldens the heart 
of a humbled sinner to trust in Christ, and to return to C>od 
through him. Hence the apostle to the Hebrews, having gone 
through this subject in a doctrinal way, in the cOi" asion makes 
this practical inference : — Having, therefore, brethren, boldness 
to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. a ncxv and Lv' 
ing way which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that 
is to say, hisfle^h ; and having a high priced over the house of 
God, let us draxv near with a true heart and full assurance of 
faith....Hch. x. 19 — 22. 

Kfm. 2. From what has been said, wc may observe, that 
the necessity of satisfaction for sin, and of the preceptive part 
of the law being answered, takes its rise from the moral per- 
fections of the divine nature, and the moral fitness of things ; 


and therefore a true idea of Ciod, and a just sense of the n^oial 
fitness of ilun]>p>, will naturally lead us to see the necessity of 
satisfaction for sin, Sec. and predispose us to understand and 
believe what is held forth by divine revelation to that purpose. 
On the other hand, where a true idea of the moral perfettinn* 
of God, and the moral fitness of thinsjs, is not — hut, on the 
contrar)', very wrong notions of the divine Being, and of the 
true nature of things, there will naturally be an indisposition 
and an aversion to such principles ; nor will what the gospel 
teaches about them be readily understood or believed : And 
doubtless it was this which originally led some to deny the ne- 
cessity of satisfaction for sin, and others to go a step farther, 
to deny that Christ ever designed to make any. yohn viii. 47 
....He that is of God^ heareth God^s words ; i/<?, therefore^ hear 
them noty btcause ije art not of God, 

Rem. 3. The death of Christ was not designed, at all, to 
takeaway the evil nature of sin, or its ill deserts ; for sin is un- 
alterably what it is, and cnnot be made a less evil : But the 
death ot Christ was ra'iher, on the contrar}-, to acknowledge and 
manifest the evil nature and ill desert of sin, to the end that 
pardoning mercy might not make it seem to be a less evil than 
it really is : So that, although God may freely pardon all our 
sins, and entitle us to eternal life for Christ's sake, yet he does 
look upon us, considered merely as in ourselves, to be as much 
to blame as e\ er, and to deserve hell as much as ever ; and 
therefore we are always to look upon ourselves so too : And 
hence we ought alwa) s to li\ e under a sense of the freeness 
and riches of Ciod's grace in pardoning our sins, and under a 
sense of our own vileness and ill desert, in ourselves, upon the 
account of them, although pardoned — That thou may est rC' 
ynetnbcr am/be conjcundcd^ and never open thy mouth any more 
because of thy shume^ when I am pacified toward thee for all 
that thou hast done, saith the Lord Gofl'....Ezek. xvi. 63. But 
this is not the way of hypocrites: for being once confulcnt 
that their sins are pardoned, their shame, sorrow, and abase- 
ment arc boon ai an end : and having no fear of hell, they have 


but little sense of sin : and, from the doctrine of free grace, 
they are emboldened, as it were, to sin upon free cost. But 
thus saith the Lord, When I shall say to the righteous^ that he 
ahall surely live ; if he trust to his own righteousness, and com- 
fnit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be rejneynbered ; but 
for hi.t iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for 77....Ezck. 
xxxiii. 13. 

Rem. 4. Nor was the death of Christ designed to draw forth 
the pity of God tovi^rds a guilty world : for God could find 
it in ills heart, of his mere goodness, without any motive from 
witliout, to give his only begotten Son to die for sinners : But 
this was greater goodness than it would have been to have sa- 
ved mankind by an act of sovereign grace, vv'ithout any media- 
tor ; — it was a more expensive way : As, for an earthly sove- 
reign to give his only son to die for a traitor, that the traitor 
might live, would be a greater act of goodness than to pardon 
the traitor, of mere sovereignty. It was not, therefore, because 
the goodness of the divine nature needed any motive to draw 
it forth into exercise, that Jesus Christ obeyed, and died in our 
room ; but it was to answer the ends of moral government, 
and to secure the honor of the moral Governor ; and so open 
away for the honorable exercise of the divine goodness, which, 
in its own nature, is infinite, free, and self-moving, and wants 
no motive from without to draw it forth into action : And tiie 
same, no doul)t, may be saiil of Christ's intercession in heaven. 
We are, therefore, in our approaches to God, not to look to 
' Christ to persuade the Father to pity and pardon us, as though 
he was not willing to show mercy of his own accord ; but we 
are to look to Christ, and go to God through him, for all wc 
want, under a sense that we are, in ourselves, too bad to be 
pitied without some sulhcient salvo to the divine honor, or to 
have any mercy shown us : And, therefore, when we look to be 
justified hy free grace,\t must be only through the redemption that 
is in Jesus Christ ; who has been set forth to be a propitiation 
for sin Jo declare God\<i righteoui:ness, that he might brjust,andthr 
JusO/ier of him tliat bclicveth in y("i'Ui'....Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26. 

DisriNCCiEnr.u iRo.i all LOUNTLKitns. 54-1 

Rem. J. Some of ihc peculiar jiriiuiplcs of the Antincmiuns 
«ccm to take Uicir rise from wronij uuiioasof the niilurc of sat- 
isfaction for sin. They sctm to have no right notions of the 
moi-ul perfections of Ciod, and of the natural ohligaiions wc are 
under to him, nor any right ajiprchcnsi(jns of the nature and 
ends of moral government, nor any ideas ol the grounds, nature, 
and ends of satisfaction for sin ; (a right sense of whicii Uiing* 
tends powerfull) to promote a holy fear and reverential uwhj of 
the diead Majesty of heaven and earth. ...a scnae of the infmitc 
evil of sin,..,brokenness of heart. ...tenderness of conscience.... 
a humble, holy, watchful, praj erful temper and life, as well as 
to prepare the way for faith in the blood of Christ.) But duy 
seem to have no right apprehensions of these things : 7 hey 
seem to consider God merely under the notion of a creditor^ 
and us merclij under the notion oi debtors ; and to suppose, 
when Chiist, upon the cross, said. It is Jinislud^ he then paid 
the whole debt of the elect, and saw the book crossed, whereby 
all their sins were actually blotted out and forgiven : and now, 
all that remains is for the holy spirit immediately to reveal it 
to one and another that he is elected — that for him Christ 
died, and that his sins are all pardoned ; which revelation he is 
hrmlv to believe, and never again to doubt of: and this they 
call faith. From wliich it seems thev understand noiiiing 
rightly about God or Christ.. ..die l.iw or gospel : for nothing is 
more evident than that C^od is, in scripture, considered as 
righteous Governor of the world, and we as criminals^ gi^ii'tv be- 
fore him ; and the evident design of Christ's death was, to be 
^propitiation for sin^ to declare and manifest God's righteous- 
ness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth 
inJesus.../^ow:.iii. 9 — 2G : And die gospel knows nothing aI)Out 
a sinner's being justified in any other way than %ya///i, and liy 
consequence, in order of nature, not till after faith. The gt^pel 
knowo nothing aljout satisfaction foi- sin, in their sense ; hxxx. evc- 
rv where teaches that the t7a./, as well as others, are equnlly i//2- 
ilcr condemnation and the wrath of God. ..yen, are children cfivrath 
while unbelievers.. ..yo/miii. 18, 3G — Eph.n. 3 — Jc.'i iii. 19. 


Again — while ihev consider God merely under the charac*. 
ter of a creditor^ and us merely as debtors^ and Christ as paying 
the xchok' debt of the elect.., because Christ obeyed the 
law, as well as suffered its penalty, therefore they seem to think 
that Christ has done all their duty^ so that now they have no- 
thing to do but firmly to believe that Christ lias done all: they 
have nothing to do with the laiv — no, not so much as to be their 
rule to live by ; but are set at full liberty from all obligations to 
any ^«??/ whatsoever ; — not understanding that Christ gave hint' 
self to redeem his people from all iniquity , and purify them to him- 
self a peadiar people, zealous of goodworks, (Tit. ii. 14.) — and not 
understanding that our natural obligations to perfect obedience 
are not capable of being dissolved, (J\Iat. v. 17.) — and not un- 
derstanding that our obligations to all holy living arc mightily 
increased by the grace of die gospel, (Rom. xii. 1.) : Indeed, 
they seem to understand nothing rightly, but to view every 
thing in a wrong light ; and, instead of considering Christ as a 
friend to holiness — as one that loves righteousness and luites ini' 
^uity, (Heb. i. 9.)- they make him a minister of sin, (Gal. ii. 17.) 
and turn the grace of God into wantonness : All their notions 
tend to render their consciences insensible of the evil of sin — to 
cherish spiritual pride and carnal security, and to open a door 
to all ungodliness. 



I come now to another thing proposed, viz. 

III. To show more particularly xvhat rvay to life has been 
tpened, by ivhat Christ, our Mediator, has done and suffered. 

In general, from what has been said, we may see that the 
mighty bar which lay in the way of mercy is removed by Je- 
sus Christ ; and now a door is opened, and a way provided, 
wherein the great Governor of the world may, consistently with 
tJic honorof his holiness and ju5tioc...his law and government, 
and sacred authorit\-, and to the glory of his grace, put in execu- 
tion all his designs of mercy towards a sinful, guilty, undone 
world. — But to be more particular, 


(1 .) A wiuj Is Qpenedy wherein the (rrvat Governor of the world 
maify consistently xuith his honor y and to the glory of his grace y 
pardon^ and receho to favor y and entitle to eternal lifcy all and 
every one of the human race, xvho shall cordially fall in with the 
gospel-Jcsign... believe in Christ ^and rclurn home to God through 

What Christ has done is, in fact, sufficient to open a door for 
God, through him, to become reconcileuble to the whole world. 
The s-ujf'erings ol" Christ, all things considered, have as much 
displayed God's hatred of sin, and as much secured the honor 
of his law, as if the whole world had been damned — as none 
will deny, who believe the infinite dignity of his divine nature. 
God may now, therefore, through Jesus Christ, stand ready to 
pardon the whole world : — There is nothing in the wa}-. And 
the obedience of Christ has brought as much honor to Ciod,and 
to his law, as the perfect obedience of Adam, and of all his race, 
would have done : the rights of the God-head are as much 
asserted and maintained : So that there is nothing in the way, 
but that mankind may, through Christ, be received into full 
favor, and entiUed to eternal life. God may stand ready to do 
it, consistenly with his honor. What Christ has done is every 
wa\ sufficient. Mat. xxii. 4... .All things are now ready. 

And God has expressly declared that it was the design of 
Christ's death, to open this door of mercy to all — John iii. 16 
....God so loved the ^voRLD, that he gave /its only begotten Sony 
that WHOSOEVER belicvcthin hiin should not perisli^ but have cc- 
crlasting life — That xvhosocvery of all niankindy whether Jew 
or Greek, bond or free, rich or poor, without any exception, 
though the chief of sinners, that believes y should be saved ; For 
this e/tdy God gave his only begotten Son. He set him forth 
to be a propitiation for sin^ that he might be justy and the justl- 
fier of him (without any exception, let him be who he will,) that 
hclleveth in ycsus....^ovt\. iii. 25, 26. 

Hence, the apostles received an universal commission. Mat. 
xxviii. 19.. ..Go, teach all nations. Mark xvi. 15, 16.,..6'9 
r/r into Ai f the vorU^ and preach t/te gospel to every cRr a- 


TURE. Accordingly, the apostles proclaimed the news of par- 
don and peace to every one — offered mercy to all without ex- 
ception, and invited all without distinction. He that believetli 
shall be saved.,„Repent, and be converted^ that your sins may be 
blotted out J were declarations they made to all in general. To 
the JeAvish nation they were sent to say, in the name of the 
King of heaven, I have prepared 7ny dinner ; my oxen and my 
fallings are killed, and all things are ready : come unto the mar- 
riage....^lnt. xxii. 4. And as to the Gentile nations, their or- 
ders ran thus : — Go ye, therefore, into the high-ways, and as 
many as ye find, bid to the marriage, (ver. 9.) To the Jewish 
nation God had been used to send his servants the prophets, in 
the days of old, saying. Turn ye, turn ye ; wliy xvill ye die ?.... 
Ezek. xxxlii. 11. I£o, every one that thirsteth, come..,A.s^. Iv. 
1. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul 
shall live, (ver. 3) : And no^v orders are given that the whole 
world be invited to a reconciliation to God through Christ : 
Whosoever will, let him come.. ..and he that Cometh shall in no wise 
be cast oiit. Thus, Christ has opened a door ; and thus, the 
great Governor of the world may, consistently with his honor, 
be reconciled to any that believe and repent : And thus he ac- 
tually stands ready. 

And now, all things being thus ready on God's side, and the 
offers, invitations, and calls of the gospel being to eyery one, 
without exception ; hence, it is attributed to sinners themselves 
that they perish at last — even to their own voluntary conduct. 
Te will not come to me, that ye might have ///e.... John v. 40 : and 
they are considered as being perfectly inexcusable, John xv. 
22. ...Now they have no cloak for their sin : And all because a 
way is opened, in which they might be delivered from con- 
demnation ; but they will not comply therewith. Johniii. 19... 
This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and 
men loved darkness rather than light, because their deedsxvere evil: 
And therefore, in scriptuie-account, they stand exposed to a 
more aggravated punishment in the world to come. Mat. xi. 
20 — 24,.„IVqc unto tluc, Chorazin, woe unto thee, Belhsaida, 


Uc— And thou Cipcin^\im^ w/uch art exalted unto heaven, shalt 
be brought Joxvn tohell^ &c. It shall be more tolerable for 'I'ljre^ 
and Sidon^and Sodom^in the day of jud:rmenty thun lor these 
cities ; because they repented not. 

And now, because the door of mercy is thus opened to the 
whole world \iv tlie blood ot Christ, therclore, in scripture, he 
is tailed the Savior of the v.- orld.... I. Jolm iv. 14 — The Limb 
of God, which takes arway the sin of the world.. ..John i. 29 — 
A propitiation for the sim of the whole world.. ..I. John ii. 2 

— That gave himself a ransom fjr ali I. Tim. ii. 6 — And 

tasted death for every MAN....Htb. ii. 9 : The plain sense of 
all which expressions may, I think, without any danger of mis- 
take, be learnt from John iii, \6,...God so loved the world, that 
he gave his only begotten Son^ that whosoever believcthin him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life.* And indeed, was 
not the door of mercy opened to all, indefinitely, how could 
God sincerely olTcr mercy to all ? Or heartily invite all ? Or 
jwitly blame those who do not accept ? Or righteously punish 
them for neglecting so great salvation ? 

B-sides, if Christ died merely for the f/tr^, that is, to the in- 
tent that they, only upon believing, might, consistently with tlie 
divine honor, be received to favor, then God could not, consist- 
ently with his justice, save any besides, if they should believe : 
For without shedding of blood, there can be rio remission.. ..Wch. 
ix. a2. If Christ did not design, by his death, to open a door 
for all to be saved conditionally, i. e. upon the condition of 
faith, then there is no such door opened : the door is not open- 
ed wider than Christ designed it should be ; — there is nutiiing 

• " I am re*ily to profess," says the famous Doctor Twisse, " and that, 
•'I suppose, as out of the mouths of all our divines, that every one who 
" hears the gospel, (without distinction between dec: or reprobate) is bound 
" to believe that Christ died for him, so fur as to procure both the pardon 
" of his sins, %nd the salvation of his soul, in case he believes and rej^ents." 
Again, " AsPffer could not have been saved, unless he had believed and 
" repented, so ^i/Ja« might have been saved, if he had done so." Again. 
" yol>n iii. 16, gives a fair Hghl of exposition to those places where Christ 
" is said to have die! fur the sins rif tie '.jorid — .ci,oJ'tbe r.'bo.'cxorlJ, to wit, 
" in this manner ; — that •x'joJorerr believctb in bivi, should nit pcritb, lu» 
" bavt everlasting lift.'''' — Dr. TwissE, on ihe riches of Go^^s lore to t be 
fXiselt of mere J, Stc. 


more purchased by his death than he intended : if this benefit 
was not intended, then it is not procured ; — if it be not procu- 
red, then the non-elect cannot any of them be saved, consistent- 
ly with divine justice : And, by consequence, if this be the 
case, then — (1 .) The non-elect have no right at all to take any 
the least encouragement^ from the death of Christ or the invita- 
tions of the gospel, to return to God through Christ, in hopes of 
acceptance : for there are no grounds of encouragement given. 
Christ did nqt die for them in any sense. It is impossible their 
sins should be pardoned, consistently with justice ; — as much 
impossible as if there had never been a Savior.. .as if Christ had 
never died ; and so there is no encouragement at all for them : 
and therefore it would be presumption in them to take any ; — all 
which is apparently contrary to the whole tenor of the gospel, 
which every where invites all, and gives equal encouragement 
to all : — Come, for all things are ready, said Christ to the rep- 
robate Jews....iy^/^ xxii. 4 : And if the non-elect have no right 
to take any encouragement from the death of Christ, and the 
invitations of the gospel, to return to God through him, in hopes 
of acceptance,then— (2.) No man atallcan rationally takeatiy en- 
couragement until he knozus that he is elected; because, until 
thea, he cannot know that there is any ground for encourage- 
ment. It is not rational to take encouragement before we see 
sufficient grounds for it ; yea, it is presumption to do so : But 
no man can see sufficient grounds of encouragement to trust in 
Christ, and to return to God through him, in hopes of accep- 
tance, unless he sees that God may, tlirough Christ, consistent- 
ly with his honor, accept and save him, and is willing so to do. 
If God can, and is actually willing to save any that comes, 
then there is no objection : I may come, and any may come 
— all things are ready. ...there is bread enough, and to spare : 
But if God is rcconcilcable only to the elect, then I may not 
come. ...I dare not come.. would be presumption to come, 
till I know that I am elected. And how can I know that ?... 
Why, not by any thing in all the Bible. While an unbeliever, 
it is impossible I should know it by any thing in scripture : 

inSTlNC;Ui&iICU tkOM all LOUtkltHtFllS. o47 

It is no where said, in express words, that I, by name, am 
elected, and there arc no rules oi' trial laid down in such a 
case : And how can I, therefore, in this case, ever ktu)w 
that I am elected, but by an immediate revelation lioni 
heaven? And how shall I know that this revelation is true ? 
How shall I dare to venture my soul upon it ?....The gospel 
does not teach me to look for any such revelation, nor give 
any marks whereby I may know when it is from God, and 
when from the devil : Thus, an invincible bar is laid in mv 
way to Ufc ; I must know that I am one of the elect, before I 
can see anv encouragement to believe in Christ ; because none 
but the elect have any more business to do so tlian the devils : 
but, if I am one of the elect, yet it is impossible I should know it 
till afterwards : Besides, all this is contrary- to the whole tenor 
of the gospel — Whosoever will, let him come. ., .Whosoever comeSy 
shall in no wise he cast out. ...Whosoever believes^ shall be saved — 
And contrary to the experience of all true believers, who, in 
their first retvim to God through Christ,alwaystake all their en- 
couragement from the gospel, and lay the weight of their souls 
u{X)n the truth of that ; and venture their eternal all upon this 
bottom, and not upon the truth of any new rcvcl;ition : Thev 
venture their all upon the truths already revealed in the gospel, 
and not upon the truth of any proposition not revealed there. 

So that, let us view this point in what light we will, nothing 
is move clear and certain than that Christ died,//j«f whosol\ - 
r.R believeth in liim should not perish^ but have everlasting life. 
And God may now be just ^ ?.nd y^'t justifi/ any of the race of Ad- 
am that believe in Jesus : and he stands ready to do so. — And 
these things being true, the ser\'ants,upon good grounds, might, 
in their master's name, tell the obstinate Jews, who did not be- 
long to the election of grace, and who finally refused to hear- 
ken to the calls of the gospel, Bchohl^ I have prepared my din}' 
ner ; my oxen and my Jmtlings are killed., w^.d a' I things are rea- 
dy : come unto the marriage. ..."^lat. xxii. 4: And if thev had 
come, they would have been heartily welcome : the provision 
made was sufficient, and the invitation sincere : Jesu^ wept over 


them, saying, that thou hadstknown^ in this thy day^ the things 
xuhich bebng to thy peace! So that there was nothing to hinder, 
had they but been wiUing. But it seems they were otherwise 
disposed ; and therefore they made light ofit^ and went their 
ways. to his farm, another to his merchandise ; and the rem- 
liant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew 
them, (ver. 5, 6.) And in this glass we may see the very nature 
of all mankind, and how all would actually do if not prevented 
by divine grace : Justly, therefore, at the day of judgment, will 
this be the condemnation, that light has come into the xvorld, but 
men loved darkness rather than light : For certainly, if 
mankind are so perversely bad, that, notwithstanding their nat- 
ural obligations to God, and the unreasonableness of their ori- 
ginal apostacy, they will yet persist in their rebellion — and, af- 
ter all tlie glorious provision and kind invitations of the gospel, 
will not return to God through Christ ; — I say, certainly, God 
is not obliged to come out after them, and, by his all-conquer- 
ing grace, irresistibly reclaim them ; but may justly let every 
man take his own course, and run his own ruin : And an ag- 
gravated damnation will every such person deserve in the com- 
ing world,yor neglecting so great salvation.. ..Heb. n. 2, 3. 

And now, if Christ's atonement and merits be thus sufficient 
for all.. .and if God stands ready to be reconciled to all. ..and if 
all are invited to return and come — hence, then, we may learn 
that it is safe for any of the poor, sinful, guilty, lost, undone 
race of Adam to return to God in this way : They shall surely 
find acceptance with God : they may come xvithout mo7iaj,and 
without price ; and he that comcth shall in no wise be cast out. 

And hence we may see upon what grounds it is, that the 
poor, convinced, humbled sinner is encouraged and embolden- 
ed to venture his all upon Christ, and return to God through 
him. It is because any poor, sinful, guilty, hell-deserving 
wretch may cdme — any in the world — the worst in the world 
— the vilest, and most odious and despicable : for such he ac- 
tually takes himself to be. And if he did not see that there 
was an open door for such. ...for any such... .for all such, he 


would cIouIk, and that wiili good reason too, whether he mit^ht 
salcly come. But when he understands and believes the gos- 
pd-revclation, and so is assured that it is safe for an\ ....for ;U1 
....the vilest luid the worst, now the peculiar vileness and un- 
worthiness which he sees in himself ceases to he an objection: 
lie ?ccsit safe for any, and therefore tor him — and hence takei 
courage, and is emboldened to venture his <tll upon the free 
grace of GoJ, thrrjugh Jesus Christ ; and so returns, in hopes 
of acceptance. Now, docs this poor sinner venture upon a 
safe foundation, or docs he not I He takes it for granted 
ihat tUc supreme Governor of the world can, consistently with 
his honor, show mercy to any that come to him through Christ ( 
and hj takes it for granted thai he stands ready to do so, even 
to iIk- vilest and worst.. ..that the door of mercy stands wide 
open, and xvhoaocver loiil^ niaij come: And, upon these princi- 
ples, he takes encouragement to return to God, in hopes of ac» 
ceptance : and, from a sense of his own wants, and of the glory 
and all-suHiciency of the divine nature. ...of the blessedness there 
is in being the Lord's, devoted to him, and li\ing upon him, • 
he does return wiihall his heart ; and to God he gives himself, 
to be forever his : and if the gospel be true, surely he must be 
safe. The truth of the gospel is the foundation of all ; for up- 
on that, and that only, he builds : not upon worksof righteous- 
ness which he has done — not upon any immediate revelation of 
pardon, or Uie love of Christ to him in particular ; but merely 
upon gospel-principles. If they, therefore, prove true, in the 
coming v,orld, then will he receive the end of his faith — the 
salvation of his soul. But to return, 

Thus we see that, by the death of Christ, there is a wide 
door opened for divine mercy to exercise and display itself: 
the supreme Governor of I'nc v.orld may, consistently wi^h hi» 
honor, now seat himself upon a throne of grace, and proclaim 
the news of pardon and peace through a guilty world ; and it 
is perfectly safe for any of the guilty race of Adam to reium 
unto h'un through Jesus Christ. And now, vvere mankind in 
a disposition to be heartily sorry for their apostoc}' from God, 

350 TKUE ri:liuion delineated, and 

and disposed to esteem it their indispensable duty, and highest 
blessedness, to return ; were this the case, the joyful news of 
a Savior, and of pardon and peace through him, would fly 
through the world like lightning, and every heart would be melt- 
ed with love, and sorrow, and gratitude ; and all the nations of 
the earth would come, and fall down in the dust before the 
Lord, and bless his holy name, and devote themselves to him 
forever, lamenting, in the bitterness of their hearts, that ever 
they did break away from their subjection to such a God. And 
were mankind sensible of their sinful, guilty, undone state by 
LAW, and disposed to justify the law, and condemn themselves 
-—and were they sensible of the holiness and justice of the great 
Governor of the world, they would soon see their need of such 
a mediator as Christ Jesus, and soon see the wonderful grace 
of the gospel, and soon see the glory of this way of salvation, 
and so know it to be from God, believe it, and fall in with it ; 
and all the world would repent and convert of their own accord 
— andsoall the world might be saved without any more to do. 
But, instead of this, such is the temper of mankind, that there 
is not one in the world, that, of his own accord, is disposed to 
have any such regard to God, or soiTowfor his apostacy,or in- 
clination to repent and retui-n j nor do men once imagine that 
they are in a state so wretched and undone, and stand in such 
u perishing need of Christ and free grace ; and therefore they 
are ready to make light of the glad tidings of the gospel, and 
go their ways. to his farm, another to his merchandise : nor 
is there one of all the human race disposed, of his own accord, 
to lay down the weapons of his rebellion, and return to God by 
Jesus Christ : So that all will come to nothing, and not one be 
ever l)rought home to God, unless something farther be done — 
unlchs some methods, and methods very efl'ectual, be used. 

liut that God should come out after such an apostate race, 
who, without any grounds, have turned enemies to him, and, 
without any reason, refuse to be reconciled.. ..and that after all 
the glorious provision and kind invitations of the gospel ; — that 
Ciod, I say, should come out alter such, and reclaim liiem by 


Jiis own sovereign atul all-conqucr'mg grace, might sctm lo he 
going counter lo the lioliuebs und justice of his nature, and to 
tend to expose his luvv and government, and sutred authc»jity, 
to coiUemiJt ; iit as much as ihcy so eminently deserve to be 
consumed by t!ie fire ot his wrath. '1 he re fore, 

('-I.) yifsiLs Christ rt'/V/, /"j his obedinice and dcath^ open }.iu.h 
a door uf mercy ^as that t/ie supreme Governor oj the xvor Id mighty 
consistently xvith his honor ^ take what methods he pleascd^in or- 
der to recover rebeliious^ guilty^ stubborn sinners to him.iclf. 

That he might take xvhat methods he pleased^ I say — lor he 
knew, from the days of eternity, how mankind would be dis- 
.posed to treat him, his Son, and his grace j and he knew, from 
eternity, what methods he intended to take to reelaim diem : 
and these are the methods which he now pleases to take — anil 
the methods... .yea, the only methods which he actually does 
take: So that it is the same thing, in effect, to say that, l)y what 
Christ has done and suffered, a door is openid lor the most 
HIGH, consistently with his honor, to take — 1. What methods 
he actually docs take^ or — 2. What methods he plea:ie-\ or — 3. 
AVhat methods he^frcm eternity, intended : For all amoimt ta 
just one and the same tiling : for what pleased him from cter- 
nit)', the same pleases him now ; and what pleases him row, 
that he actually does. The infinite perfection of his nature 
docs not admit of any new apprehension, or alteration of judg- 
ment. By his infinite understanding he always had, and has, 
and will have, a complete view of all things, past, present, and 
to come, at once : And bvhis infinite wisdom, and the perfect 
■rectitude of his nature, he unchangeably sees and determines 
upon that conduct which is right, and fit, and best : For with 
him there is no variableness, nor shadow ofturning.. .Ja.mcs i. 1 7. 

Now, that what Christ has done and suffered, was sujficient 

to open a wav for the honorable exercise of his sovereign grace, 

in recovering sinners to himself, is evident, from w hat has been 

heretofore observed : And that it was desio-ncd for this end, 

and has, in fact, effectually answered it, is plain, from God's 

conduct in tlie affair : for otherwise he could not, consistently 

X X 

3j2 true religion dtlineated, and 

with his honor, or the honor of his law, use those means to re- 
claim sinners, whicli he actiuilly does : For all those methods 
of grace would else be contrary to law, which does not allow 
the sinner to have any favor shown hira, without a sufficient se- 
curity to the divine honor, as has been before proved. The 
law, therefore, has been satisfied in this respect, or these favors 
could not be shown : for heaven and earth shall sooner pass 
away, than the law be disregarded in any one point. It foUowfi, 
thei'efore, that not only special and saving grace, but also that 
all the common favors which mankind in general enjoy, and 
that all the means of grace which are common to the elect and 
non-elect, are the effects of Christ's merits : All were purcha- 
sed by him ; none of these things could have been gi-anted to 
mankind, but for him. Christ has opened the door, and an in- 
finite sovereign goodness has strewed these common mercies 
round the world. All those particulars wherein mankind are 
treated better than the danmed in hell, are over and above 
v/hat mere law would allow of, and therefore are the ef^ 
fects of Christ's merits and gospel-grace. And for this, 
among other reasons, Christ is called the Savior of the world : 
And hence, also, God is said to be reconciling the world to him- 
self not imjmtiug their trespasses unto them....ll. Cor. v. 19 : 
Because, for the present, their punishment is suspended, and 
they are treated in a way of mercy.. ..are invited to repentance, 
and have the oilers of pardon and peace, and eternal life made 
unto them ; — ^hence, I say, God is said not to impute their si7is 
unto them — agreeably with that parallel place in Fsalm lxx\iii. 
33, where God is said to forgive the iniquity of his people, be- 
cause he dcslroijcd titcm not. 

Upon the whole, then, this seems to be the true state of the 
case : — God is, through Christ, ready to be reconciled to all 
and every one that will repent and return unto him dirough Je- 
sus Christ : lie sends the news of pardon and peace around 
n guilty world, and invites every one to come, saying, He 
that bcliiveth^ .shall be saved ; and he that believeth not^ shall be 
damned : and, on diis account, it is said that he will have oU 


uign to be servccJy and is not wjlijng that any shouU perish ; be- 
cause he oiTdb sulvatioti to u!l,imd uses arjjum'--nts lo dissuaile 
them from pcrditiun. But., in as much as mankind will not 
hearken, but are obstinately set in their way, therefore he take* 
state upon himself, and says, Ixvill /icve viernj on xi'hom J will 
have mcnij : and a sinful, guilty world are in his h:inds, and he 
may use what methods of grace with all that he ; Some 
he may suflcr to take their own way,and run their own min, if he 
pleas<-'s — and others he may subdue and recover to ]iimself,ljy his 
owniill-conqucrlnggracc : And,untoatertainnumber,from eter- 
nity, he intended to sliow this special mercy: and these are said to 
be given to C.'iri.'it^ (John vi. 37.) And with a special eye to 
these s/itf/> did he lay doivn his lij'f, (John x. 1 J.) — liis Father 
intending, and he intending, that they, in spite of all opposition, 
should be brought to eternal life at last : and hence the elect do 
always obtain^ (Rom. xi. T, compared with John vi. 37.) And 
here we may leani how to understand tiiose places of scripture 
which seem to limit Christ's undertaking to a certain number. 
MiU. i. 21.,.. Thou shalt call his name Jesus ; because he shall 
save HIS vv.09hY.from their sins: — Eph. v. 23.... He is the head 
of the CHURCH ; and he is the Savior of the body. — V'er. 25.... 
Christ loved the church, and gave hiinseiffOK it. — Acts xx. 
38:.. He hath purchased his church rvith his own blood. — John 
X. 15. ...I lay down my life for the sheep There were a cer- 
tain number which the Father and Son, from all eternity, de- 
signed for vessels of mercy, to bring to glor^'.... /?&»;. ix. 23. — 
With a view to these, it was promised in the covenant of re- 
demption that Christ should see of the travail of his souL...l&:i\. 

liii. 11 And Christ says, in Jolm vi. a7, 38, 39, All that the 

Father giveth me, shall come to me ; and him that cometh to me, 
I xvill in no wise cast out. ...For 1 came d'nunfrom heaven, not 
to do my oiim xvill, but the xvill of him that sent me.. ..And this 
is the Father^s xvill zvhich hath sent me, that of all which he 
hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again 
at the last day. — See, also, 'lit. ii. 14 — Rev. v. Q, 10 — Eph. i. 
4, 5, 6. 


Thus Christ's merits are sufficient for all the world, and the 
door of mercy is opened wide enough for all the world ; and 
God, the supreme Governor, has proclaimed himself reconcile- 
able to all the world, if they will believe and repent : And if 
they will not believe and repent, he is at liberty to have mercy 
on whom he will have mercy, and to show compassion to wliom 
he will show compassion. ..according to the good pleasure of his 
will, to the praise of the glory of his grace. He sits Sovereign, 
and a rebellious, guilty world are in his hands, and at his dis- 
posal ; and the thing that seems good in his sight, that he will 
do : and it is infinitely fit, right, and best he should... that the 
pride of all flesh may be brought low, and the Lord alone be ex- 
alted forever. And as this view of things seems exactly to har- 
monize with the whole tenorof the gospel mgejieral^und to agree 
with the yarions particular representations of our redemption by 
Christ — and to reconcile those texts which seem to speak of an 
universal redemption^ with those which seem to speak of ixpar- 
ticular redemption^ so it will naturally suggest an easy answer to 
any objections which may be made against it. 

Ob J. 1 . If Christ has suffered the penahfj of the law, not onlij 
for the elect, but also for the non-elect, how can it be just that they 
themselves should be inadc to suffer it over again forever in hell? 

Ans. Because Christ did not die with a design to release 
them from their deserved punishment, but only upon condition 
of faith ; and so they have no right to the release, l)ut upon that 
condition : It is as just, therefore, they should be punished as 
if Christ had never died, since they continue obstinate to the 
last ; and it is just, too, they should have an aggravated dam- 
nation, for refusing to return to God, despising the offers oi 
mercy,and neglecting so great salvation. ...yoAn iii. 16 — 19. 

Obj. 2. If Christ obeyed the preceptive part of the hav, not 
only for the elect, but also for the non-elect, why are not all 
brought to eternal life, since eternal life is by Icnr promised to per- 
fect obedience ? 

Ans. Because Christ did not purchase eternal life for them, 
but upon the con<:iition of faith : But they would not come to 


Christ, that they might have life ; and therefore they justly per- 
ish. ...y^j/i/j iii. IG — 19. 

Obj. o. But for what purpose diJ Christ die far those xvho 
were in hell a long time before his death ? 

Ass. And to what purpose did he die for those whoNvere in 
heaven a long time belorc his deatii ?...The truth is, that wlu-n 
Christ laid down iiis life a ransom for all, he only accomplishid 
what he undertook at the beginning. Christ actuall)- interpo- 
sed as Mediator imnicdiatcly upon the fall of man, and under- 
took to secure the divine honor, Ly obex ing and suftering in 
the room of a guilty world; and therefore, through him, God 
did oflcr mercy to Cain as well as to Abel, and show common 
favors to the world in general, as well as grant speci;d grace to 
the elect ; and that before his death, as well as since. Surely 
none will deny that all the favors which mankind did enjoy pri- 
or to Christ's death, were by virtue of his undertaking to be 
IVlediaior, and cngar;ing to secure the divine honor ; for, upon 
any other footing, the Governor of the world could not have 
granted such favors consistently with his honor. 

Obj. 4. But if Christ died for all^ then he died in vaiii^ since 
(ill arc not saved. 

Ans. The next and immediate end of Christ's death was 
to answer the ends of moral government, and so secure the 
honor of the mor:d Governor, and open a way in which he might 
honorably declare himself reconcileable to a guilty world upon 
their returning through Christ, and use means to reclaim them ; 
but this end Christ did obtain — and so did not die in vain.... 
jfohn iii. 16 — A'cw. iii. 24, 2J, 20. And the supreme Gover- 
nor of the world will now, through Christ, accomplish all the 
designs of his heart, to the everlasting honor of his great 

Obj. 5. But why xvouUl God have a door opened, that he 
mighty consistently with his honor ^o^er to be reconciled to all that 
will return to him through Christy when he knnv that the non- 
elect would never return P And xvhy would he itavc a door opened 
that he might t(se means with them, when he knew all would be 


in vain, unless he himself recovered them by his aU<onqnjering 
grace, ivhich yet he never designed to do ? 

Ans. God designed to put an apostate world into a new 
state of probation. Mankuid were in a state of probation in 
Adam, their public head, and we all sinned in him and fell with 
him in his first transgression : But God designed to try the 
posterity of Adam anew, and sec whether they would be sorry 
for their apostacy, or choose to continue in their rebellion. He 
would tender mercy, and offer to be reconciled, and call them 
lo return, and use arguments and motives, and promise 
and threaten, and try and see what they would do. He 
knew mankind would be ready to deny their apostacy, and 
plead that they were not enemies to God, and think themselves 
very good-natured — and would take it exceedingly hard not to 
be believed : therefore he determined to try them, and see 
what they would do, and make public declaration through the 
world, that, finally, he would judge every man according lo his 
works, and deal with him according to his conduct : And, 
in the mean time, that his honor might be secured, he appoints 
his Son to be Mediator ; and so, through him, proclaims the 
news of pardon and peace, and enters upon the use of means : 
and now, if you ask me " Why does he do all this, when he 
*' knows it will be in vain, as to the non-elect, who will never 
** come to repentance V — 

J answer — His knowing that all will, in the event, pi'ove in- 
effectual to bring them to repentance, is no objection against 
his using the means he does : for God does not make his fore- 
knowledge of events the rule of his conduct ; but the reason 
and fitntbs of things. You may as well Inquire, *' Why did 
*' God raise up Noah to be 2i preacher of righteousness to the 
" old world, for Uu- space of an hundred and twenty years, when 
" he knew tluy would ne\er come to repentance ? — ^^nd why 
" did he send all his servants, the prophets, to the children of 
" Israel, rising early and sending, and, by them, commimd and 
" call. ..entreat arid expo'itulate... promise and threaten, and say, 
" uls I live, -saith the Lord (iod, I delight not in the death of a 


*' sinner : turn i/f, turn ye ; xvhtj will yc die I when he knew 
*' they would never conic to repentance ? — And why c'iil he ai- 
" lerwards send his Son to the same obstinate people, when he 
*' knew they would he so f;u" from hearkening, as that they 
*■*• would rather put him to death ?" — Now, ii you ask me whv 
the great Governor of tlie world uses such means with the non- 
clcct, and shows so much goodness, patience, forbearance, and 
4ong-suft"ering, instead of sending all immediately to deserved 
destruction ? — I answer ^ it is to try them ; and to show that 
he is the Lord Goil^ gracious and mc'rc;J'uI....s/ow to angir^ and 
alnvidant in (goodness. It is fit that creatures in a state of pro- 
bation should be tried, and he loves to act like himself ; and 
he means, in and by his conduct, to do lx>th at once : And aft«r 
obstinate simi'Ts have long abused that goodness ?indjbrbear» 
tiwt., which shouU have led them to repentance — and have, after 
their own hard and impenitent hearts, been treasuring up wrath, 
against the daij ofwrath^ the righteousness of God's judgment, 
in their eternal destruction, will be most manifest. And what 
if God was determined not to reclaim rebels, voluntarily so ob- 
stinate, by his all-conquciing grace, but let them take their 
course, seeing they were so set in their way ? What then ?... 
Was he not at liberty ? Was he bound to save them all by an ex- 
ertion of his omnipotence ? Ivlight he not hceoe mercij on whoni 
he would ? And, alter such long-st'Jf'ering^ might he not show 
his xvrath^ and make his poxver kuown^ in the eternal destruction 
of those who so justly deserved it ? God's last end, no doubt, 
is to manifest his perfections : and in and by his whole conduct 
towards a fallen world, they will all be most illustriously dis- 
played... ./?o;«. xi. 36. 

O B J. 6. But considering that the non-elect are,, after all,,vnder 
an absolute impossibility to believe and repent,, convert and be' sa- 
ved^..and considering that all covimon mercies,, and means cf 
graccy will only render them the mere inexcusable in the end^ 
and so aggravate their guilt atul damnation — therefore,, a II things 
conaidered,, xvhat seeming good they enjoy in this xuorld,, is not 
of the nature cf a mercy : it would be belter for them to be 


zvithout it : Sodom and Gomorrah will be better of it in the 
day of judgment^ than Chorazia «7ic^ Bethsaida :* and therefore 
there is no need to suppose that any thing which the non-elect 
enjoy in this worlJ^ is the effect of ChrisCs merits, but only of 
divine sox>ereigniy. 

Ans. What do you mean by behig binder an absolute impossi- 
bility to "believe and repent. ..convert and be saroed ? Ushig words 
without determinate ideas is one principal thing which bewil- 
xlers the world about matters of religion : Now, in plain En- 
glish, all things are ready. .^.^nd they are invited to r3;;;f....and 
there is nothing in the way of their being saved ; but, they are 
not sorry for their apostacy from God, nor will be brought to 
it by all the means God uses with them : They have not a mind 
to return to God, nor will they be persuaded by all the most 
powerful arguments that can be used : they arc volutary ene- 
mies to God, and will not be reconciled, unless liy an almighty 
power and all-conquering grace, w!iich God is not obliged to 
give, and the}- are infinitel)'' unworthy of.. ..and without which 
they might return, were they but of such a temper as they ought 
to be : they are under no inability but what consists in and results 
from their want of a good temper of mind, and their voluntary 
obstinacy. Sin has no power over men, but as they are incli' 
nedlo it; and die inclinations of the heart are always voluntary 
and unforced. Men love to be inclined as they are ; for oth- 
erwise their inclinations wovild be so far from having any power 
over them, that they would even cease to be. — Now certainly 
the bringing up of the children of Israel out of Egypt was of the 
nature of a mcrcy^ and a great mercy too indeed it was, not- 
withstanding that, througli their unbelief and pcrverseness, they 
never got to Canaan : 'I'hc thing, in itself, was as great a mcr- 

• It may he proper just to hlnttlie gros<; ahsurilities implied in tliis ob- 
jection. If t'.ic non-elfct wCrc under an absolute (i. c. not only a tnoriJ, 
but natural) impossibility to turn to God, tliey would not be proper subjects 
to use any means with : And if thcir'coninion f.ivnr?:, and means of grace 
•were not of the nature of ■mercies, they could not aggravate their guilt : 
And if it was not their own fault that tliey did not vt-jjcnt under the en- 
joyment of means, they would not be to i>laiiie, norde.->crve lo be pimifthcd 
for not repenting. Men bVuiiible into sueli absurdities by uking words 
without dctcnuinate ideui>. 


cy to the body of that generation, as it was to Caleb and Joshua '. 
and their bad temper and l)ad conduct, which prevented their 
ever coming to the promised land, did not alter the nature of 
(he thing at all, nor lessen their oblig:itions to gratitude to (>od, 
their mighty deliverer : And yet, all things considered, it had 
been better for them to have died in their Eg) ptian bondage, 
than to have had their carcases fall in the wilderness, in such 
an awful manner. And besides, it is evident that the scrip- 
tures do look upon the common favors, and means of grace, 
U'hich the non-clcct cnjov, under the notion of mercies ; and 
(which otherwise could not be) on this very ground their guilt is 
aggravated, and they rendered inexcusable, and worthy of a more 
sore punishment in the world to come....yo/i;t iii. 16 — 19, and 
Xv. 22, 24 — Rom. ii. 4, 5 — Htb. ii. 2, 3. And if they are of 
the nature of mercies, then they are the effects of Christ's merits 
• — as has been alrcadv proved. 

And hence, by the way, we may see the reason why the love 
and goodness of God, in bringing up the children of Israel out 
of Eg\-])t, is so mightily set forth in the Old Testament, notwith- 
standing the bodv of that generation perished in the wilder- 
t>ess — and why the love and goodness of God, in giving his Son 
to die for the world, is so mightily set forth in the New Tes- 
tament, notwithstanding multitudes of mankind perish forever : 
viz. It was the Israelites' o\\x\ fault that thc\- perished in the 
wilderness, and so it is sinners' own fault that they perish for- 
ever.... yo/j/i iii. 19, and v. 40 : And did they feel it at heart, 
it would effectually stop their mouths: for this is an undoubt- 
ed maxim, that the kindnesses of God to a rebellious, perverse 
world, are not, in themselves, anv the less mercies, because 
mankind abuse them to their greater ruin. The kindnesses 
are, in themselves, the same, whether we make a g^odimpro\c- 
ment of them, or no : They are just the same, and so just as 
great, let our conduct be wliat it will. It was a great mercy 
to the Israelites to be delivered out of Egy pt — it was a won- 
derful expression of divine goodness : and hence it is said, in 
IIos. xi. l....jyhen Israel 7vas a cliiU, then /lovkd him^ and 

Y T 


called my Son out of Egypt. (And a like expression we have 
in Deut. x. 18....6W loveth the stranger^ in giving him food 
and rai?nent.) And on the same ground it is said, in John iii. 
16...,God so LOVZD the zvorld, &c. because the gift ol" Christ to 
die for the world was an infinite expression of divine goodness. 
And ifmankind do generally abuse this goodness, as the Israel- 
ites generally did all God's kindnesses to them, yet still the 
goodness itself is just thesame. A dreadful thing, therefore, 
it is for the non-elect.. .even as aggrav^ated a piece of wickedness 
in them as it would be in any body else, to tread under foot 
the blood of the Son of God, and make light of all the offers of 
mercy, and neglect so great salvation : And this, above all 
other things, will be their condemnation in the coming world.... 
yohn iii. 19. Never are the Jews at all excused, any where 
in the New Testament, in their slighting the offers of mercy 
by Christ, on this account, that they were not of the elect : 
And indeed the offers were sincere, and it was entirely their 
own fault that they did not accept, and they deserved to be 
treated accordingly.. ..A^/?. xxii. 1 — 7. 

Obj. 7. But if God no loved the xuorld, the wiiqle world, 
as to give his only begotten Son to die for theni^ in the sense f.v- 
plained., xuhy does he not go through^ arid perfect t/ie ivork^ and 
save the whole world, according to that in Rcjtuviu. 32 ?.... 
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us 
all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ? 

Ans. 1. And why did not the Kirig^ in Mat. xxii. who had 
made a marriage for his Son^ and sent his servants to say to 
them that were bidden, I have prepared ttiy tlinner ; my oxen 
and my failings are killed^ and all things are ready : come v7ito 
the marriage : — why did not die King, 1 say, when they refu- 
ted, compel them to come in ? Since he had done so much, whv 
did he not go through, and finish the work ? And this is direct- 
ly to the point in hand, because this parable is designed to repre- 
sent that full provision which is made for the salvation of simurs 
by the df ath of Christ ; and it pro\ cs that the objection has no 
force in it. But farther — 


2. Tiikc your Bible, aixfrcad fif)m the 28th verse to the end 
ot that 8th chaiHcr o{ Romans^ and you will sec what the Apos- 
tle's design Vs, through his whole discourse. " W'c know," 
says he, "• that all thing;s work togedier for good to them that 
"love (• them who are called according to his purpose. 
"But how do we know it ? Why, because God is iuUy dcter- 
" mined to bring them to gloiy at last : For, whom he did fore- 
"know, he also did predestinate ; and wlK)m he did predesti- 
"nate, diem he also called, and them he justified, and them he 
** glorified. And God was so lully determined to liring iluin 
"to glor} , and so much engaged in the thing, that he spared 
"not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all ; i. e. us, 
*'\vho love God, and are his elect people :" (For it is of these, 
and these only, that he here is s[>eaking..) " And since he was 
" so much engaged as to do this, we may depend upon it that 
" he will also freely give us all thing-s ; i. e. us, who love God, 
*'and are his elc^t people : So that never any thing shall hin- 
" der our being finally brought to glor}', or separate us from 
" the love of God — neither tribulation, nor persecution, nor 
"distress, npr any thing else." So that this is the apostle's ar- 
gument : — Since God was so much engaged to bring them to 
glory who loved God, and were his elect people, as that he had 
given his own Son to die for that end, they, therefore, might 
have the strongest assurance that he would do even thing else 
which would be needful effectually to bring it about.* 

But God never <5t.?ig-«caf to bring the non-elect to glor}', whe« 
he gave his Son \o die for the world : He designed to declare 
himself reconcileable to dicm through Christ... .to olTer merer invite them, in common with others, to return. ...and to as- 
sure all that he that believeth shaU be saved. ...vend to use means 

* If we leave God's desi^ out of the apostle's argument, I cannot sc« 
that his reasoning would be conclusive, any more tha:\ a lil;e argunieirt 
would have been conclusive, if we should suppose Moses to have used it 
with the Israelites at the side of the KcJ Sat. " Since God has now brought 
" you all out of Egypt, and thus divided the Red Sea before you, and 
"drowned your enemies, therefore he will now, without fail, bring yowall 
" to the promised land :" Wiiich reasoning would not have been conclu- 
sive ; for the body of that generation died in the wihlerncss, and that in a 
very awful manner, notwithstanding this glorious deliverance. 


with them more or less, according to his pleasure ; but finally, 
they being obstinate, he designed to leave them to themselves, 
to take their own course, and, in the end, to deal with them ac- 
cording to their deserts,. ..Mi^ xxiii. 37, 38, and xxii. 1 — 7 : 
And this being the case, the ohjtxtion from the Apostle's words 
is evidently groundless. 

As to the opinion of the Arminians^ that God equally design- 
ed salvation for all men, purposing to offer salvation to all, and 
use means with all, and leave all to their own free will, and save 
those, and those only, who, of their own accord, will become 
good men ; — as for this opinion, I say, I think they never learnt 
it from the Bible : but rather, they seem to have been led into 
it from a notion that mankind are so good-natured that all 
might, and that at ler'st some actually would, under the enjoy- 
ment of the common means of grace, become good men of their 
own accord, ?'. e. without any such thing as special grace. Con- 
vince them that this is an error, and they will soon give up 
their scheme, and acknowledge their need of sovereign grace, 
and see the reasonableness and truth of the doctrine of elec- 
tion : Or rather, I may say, convince them, first of all, what 
God is, and what the law is, and what the nature of true religion 
is, that they may know what conversion means, and what it 
means to be a good man, and there will be no difliculy then to 
convince them of the depravity of mankind : for what leads 
them to think it so easy a thing to become a good man, and that 
men m.iy be brought to it merely by the force of moral sua- 
sion, is, their wrong idea of the nature of true religion. If reli- 
gion be what they suppose, then,nodoubt, any body may easily 
become good ; for corrupt nature can bear with such a religion : 
But if religion, or a conformity to God's law, be wiiat I ha\c 
endeavored to prove it to be in the former discourse, then, no 
douljt, mankind are naturally diametricallyopposite thereto in the 
temper of their minds— even all mankind, Arminians as well as 
others : and all do, or might know it, if tliey would seriously 
and honestly weigh the matter ; for it is plain fact. The Ar- 
minians are wont mightily to cry up wol^s, and plead for the 


moral law, as though they were gnat iVlcnds to it: but ililRir 
mistakes about the mouii law might once be rtctiiicd, and they 
be brought really anil heartily to approve it, as holy, just^ and 
gOsJj one principal source of all their errors would be dried up ; 
and particularly ihcir wrong notions about election and univer- 
sal redemption. 

" But where was there any love," (will the objector saj) '4n 
*' God's gving his Son to die for the non-elect — orsinccritv in 
" his oftcring them merc\ , if he never designed to bring them 
'' to glory, but, from eternity, intended to leave them to perish 
*' in their sins .'" 

And where was there any love, laiunver^ in God's bringing 
the Israelites out of Egypt, or sincerity in his oiFcring to bring 
them toC;maan, if he never designed eve^utiially to bring them 
there, but, from eiernit)-, intended to leave them to murmur 
and rebel, and to have Uieir carcases fall in the wilderness ? — 
The solution in both cases is the same, and is plainly this : — as 
it was the Israelites' own fault that they did not come to Ca- 
naan at last, so it is die sinner's own fault thathe finally iiills short 
of glory : However, the Isi-aelites were often in a rage, and 
read) to say, The Lord hath brought us into the wilder nesi^ to 
kill Uit here; and they murmured against God, and against Mo- 
ses.. ..for which they were stnack dead by hundreds and thou- 
sands ; and just so sinners do — and the same punishment do 
they deserve. But had the Israelites felt at heart that it was 
their own voluntary wickedness which was the .sole cause of 
their ruin — and did sinners feel it at heart too, there would be 
no muraiuring in one case or the otlier ; but every mouth 
would be stopped. — But I have spoken to this before. 

To conclude — if this representiition of things which I have 
given be according to truth, hence, then, we may leani these 
two things, which, indeed, were what I had principally in view 
in dwelling so long upon this subject, and laboring to answer 
objections ; — I say, we may learn — 1. That any poor sinner, all 
t!ic world over, who hears the gospel and believes it, has sui- 
ficient grounds of encouragement, Irom the freencss of God's 


grace, and the sufficiency of Christ, and the universal calls of the 
gospel, toventurc his eternal ALLinthis way of salvation, and may 
safely return to God through Christ, in hopes of acceptance ; 
and that without any particular revelation that he is elected^ or 
that Cliriat died for him in particular : '* Any may conie.^.the 
vilest and the worst ; and therefore I may come :" and there- 
fore such a particular revelation is perfectly needless : nor could 
it do any good j for the truth of the gospel may be depended 
upon — ^but the truth of such a particular revelation cannot. — 
2. That any poor, sinful, guilty, broken-hearted backslider, who 
groans under the burden of sin as the greatest evil, and longs to 
have the power of sin taken down, and his corruptions slain, 
and himself thoroughly subdued to God, may look up to the in- 
finite free grace of God through Jesus Christ, and pray, " Lord 
*' take away this heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh r 
*' Tuin me, and I shall be turned : Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst 
*' make me clean : O create in me a clean heart, and renew in 
*' me a right spirit, and restore to me the joy of thy salvation \ 
'* To thy sovereign grace and self-moving goodness I apply my- 
*'-self^ through Jesus Christ : God be merciful to me as'mner :'* 
and that whether he knows himself to be a child of God, or no j 
and so whether he knows that he belongs to the number of the 
elect, or not : Nor does he need any particular revelation that 
Christ died for him in particular, or tbiat he is elected, or that 
he is beloved of God : nor would these things do any good to 
clear up his warrant to come for mercy ; because God may, 
through Christ, give his holy spirit to any that ask him : All 
who are athirst are invited to come and take of the waters of 
life freely : "Any may come ; and therefore I may come, al- 
" though the vilest creature in the worlcL" And I appeal to 
uU the generation of God's children, whether this has not been 
their way of coming to God through Christ, ever since die day 
they first came to know the Lord : Sure I am, this is the scn|>- 
ture-way. God has sent out a proclamation through a siniul, 
guilty world, inviting all to come to him, through Jesus Christ, 
for all things — and given many encouragements, by represent- 


iiighow free his grace si^lTicient Christ is, and how 
faiihlul his promises. ...and that whosoever will, mav come, Sec, 
But no where in all the Bible has he revealed it that such and 
such in particular, by name, among mankind, arc elected — and 
tlut tor these indi\ iduals Christ died in particular, by wny of 
encouragement to those particular persons, in order to let them 
know that thcij mi^ht safely trust in Christ, and come to (iod 
through him : But then must we be right, when we under- 
stand the gospel and believe it, and, upon the vcrif enrotirnge- 
metUs wh'nh God has !^iven^ are emijolilened to return, in hopes 
of acceptance: and this must be agreeable to God's will ; and to 
this must the influences of the tri'.e spirit tend : But to venture 
to return and look to God for mercy, merelv upon any other 
ground, is snti-srriptural ; and whatsoever spirit influences 
thereunto cannot, therefore, be from God. 

And thus we sec how the door of life is opened Iiy Christ, 
our great Mediator and high-priest : And hence, Christ calls 
hinwelf the door: John x. 9.... I am the door : btj mc^ {fany man 
rntcr in, he shall be saved: And hence, also, he calls himself 
the way to the Father : John xiv. f>....[ atn the ivay^ the truths 
aiidtlic life : Xo man eomrth to the Father but hij v.e ; for thrcxt^h 
Az/n, (saith the Apostle.... Eph. ii. 18), ive both have an access., 
btj one spirit, unto the Fathrr : and also, throvjrh him^God is re- 
conciling the world to himself ^nd'in^ ambassadors, and hceec/i^ 
ing them to be reconciled. ...\\, Cor. v. 19, 20. — Which leads 
uie to the next tiling proposed, 

sKcrioy ri. 


A. I am to show what methods the great Governor of the 
world has entered upon, in order to put rn execution those designs 
cfmrrcif xchich he had in view xvhen he contrived to open this 
DOOR, //i such a wondcrfulaiul glorious manner, by the intcrposi" 
tion of his cxvn dear Son. 

The most high God is conscious of his own infinite excel- 
lcHce....his right to, aud authority over the children of men : 


He sees mankind as iKing under infinite obligations to love and 
ohev him, and that the least defect is an infinite evil : He 
judges the law to be holy, just, and good. ...and mankind wholly 
to blame for their non-conformity thereto, and worth)' to be 
dealt with according to it : He knows their contrariety to him, 
to his law, and to his gospel : He sees all these things as they 
reallvare : His infinite wisdom sees how it is fit for such an 
one as he is, now, through a mediator, to conduct towards such 
a world as this is : He sees what conduct is most becoming, 
and, all things considered, most meet and suitable : and to this 
conduct the perfect rectitude of his nature prompts and inclines 
him. Upon the whole, he necessarily and freely determines 
to act like himself ; i. e. like an absolute Sovereign, infinite in 
wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. This was his 
determination from eternit) — this is his determination in time 
— and according to this rule he actually proceeds, in all his 
methods with a sinful, guilty, obstinate world — Working all 
things accordin^r to tJie counsel of his own 7t/77/....Eph. i. 11 — 
sovereignly, and yet wisely.. ..holily and justly, and yet as ^'/i* 
Lord God gracious and merciful^ slow to auger ^ and abwidant in 
Poodness and truth. As is his nature, such is his conduct : and 
hence his conduct exhibits to us the very image of his heart. 
Thus it is in the impetration, and thus it is in the application of 
our rcd( mption, and in all the methods he takes with a guilty 
world in general: And hence, all his ways are calculated to 
exalt (lod, and humble the sinner — to honor the law, and dis- 
countenance sin — to exclude boasting, and to glorify grace ; — 
as we shall more fully see in what ff)llows : 

^1.) As bring the supreme Lord and sovereign Ruler of the 
whole world, he does, through Jesus Christ, the great Media- 
tor, //ir/-«;//^. v/(//;;/J*(j;w ?/<f/?>7//jr/(f///o» cf the worlds by whom 
hislionor has been KccurL'd — he does, 1 say, through him, (j-rrm/, 
und^ hij an act of grace ^ con finn to the ~vorld of vumi-ind^ a 
general reprieve from that tttirr ruin which ivas threatened Inj 
the hnv^ and to which an (ij)ostate wcrld were exposed. Total 
Uestr.uction was thicatcned in case of disobedience : (ien. ii. 17 


,...In (liji'ty tfiou shah die ; i. e. thou shall die \vlih a witness.... 
thy ruin shall he complete. And now nothing could he expect- 
ed but a dreadful doom, and to be sealed down under everlast- 
ing despair : But^ instead of this, the great Ciod dooms the 
tempter^ and threatens utter ruin to his new-erected kingdom : 
Gen. iii. 14, \5....Iitiausc thou hast done this^ thou art cursed — 
and thy head shall be bruised. But guilty man is reprieved 
from a total ruin, antl allowed a space for repentance : And the 
world has now stood almost six thousand years, reprieved by 
the tender mercy of God, through Jesus Christ. 

Indeed, certain evils were denounced by the Majesty of 
heaven, as standing monuments of his displeasure, always to 
attend a guilty race while in this world. Peculiar sonows 
were appointed to women, and hard labor and toil to men, and 
sickness and pain to both, till death should put an end to their 
reprieve and to dieir space for repentance. ..(vcr. 16 — 19) : — 
And when our day to die shall come, we are not to know : 
we lie at mercy, and God acts sovereignly : so long as he plea- 
ses, so long shall we be reprieved, and no longer : And thus, 
while tender mercy appears in the general reprieve, the holi- 
ness, and justice, and sovereignty of God appear in the manner 
of it. God is exalted — a guilty world lies at his mercy — they 
are, in a sense, continually under his rod, and eveiy moment 
liable to drop into an eternal hell : They are held up in his 
hand. ...hell gapes to receive them, and now he lets one fall, 
and then another.. this, and then that, just as it seems 
good in his sight. Surely, this is awful ! Surely, mankind are 
in very humbling circumstances, and in circumstanses wonder- 
fully calculated to awaken them to repent^ arid pray to God, if 
peradventure their xvicicdncss ?nai/ be forgiven. 

When the general reprieve, granted to this lower world, shall 
come to a period, then will the great Judge of the world pro- 
ceed, with all who shall be found impenitent, according to laiu, 
without any mixture of mercy. The present reprieve, granted 
as a space Xor repentance, is not of the law, but of mere grace 
through Jesus Chriut. Now ,QTatr takes place, and patience, 


forbearance, and long-suffering, sit on the throne : but then 
Icnv shall take place, and strict justice reign. The mediation 
of Christ, at present, secures the honor of law and justice, 
and opens the door for grace ; but then the day of grace will be 
at an end : A guilty world shall no longer be treated in a way 
of mercy, and favored on Christ's account ; but be proceeded 
against in flaming fire and terrible \ engeance, and every one 
be punished according to his deseits. How long the day of 
God's patience with a guilty world is to last, we know not. A 
guilty world lies at his mercy, and may be all summoned to the 
bar when he pleases. Surely this is awful and awakening ! 
but this is the state in which God means to show all long-suf- 
fering, and to exercise and display the infinite patience of his 
nature : and surely this should lead us to repentance ! Thus, 
this is one step in a way of mercy, which God, in his infinite 
grace through Jesus Christ, has taken with a guilty world. 
And what is the improvement which mankind are disposed to 
make of it ? Why, because sentence against their evil works is 
not executed speedily^ therefore the heart of the Sons of men is 
fully set in them to do ew/....Ecclc. viii. 11. 

(2.) Another favor granted to mankind in general by the 
great Governor of the world, through Jesus Christ, is, « cotU' 
pctency of the good things of this hfefor their comfortable support^ 
zvhile under this reprieve^ and in this jicxv state of probation. 
By law, mankind, for their apostacy, stood disinherited of eve- 
ry good thing, doomed to a complete destruction. ...Gen. ii. 17; 
but now, through a Mediator, they are dealt with in a way of 
mercy. It is true, in token of the divine displeasure, God turned 
man out of paradise, and cursed the ground, and subjected 
man to hard labor, (GVn. iii.) but then, at the same time, for 
Christ's sake, a general grant of man)- good ibings is made to 
a guilty world : 1 hey are allowed to live on God's earth.... 
breathe in his air.. .see by tha light of his sun. eat of the herb 
of the field, and to eat bread in the sweat of their face.. clothe 
themseh cs with the skins of sliiin beasts. ...Gfw. iii. They are 
allowed summer and winter... .seed-time and harvest ; and the 


beasts of tlic field arc given to thcm....(7e'n. viii. 22, and ix. 1, 
2, 3 : Yea, it lias been (iod's way alniiidantly to (Id good to a 
guilty world..../o s^iiui rain,, and grunt J'nutfulsfa.son-<i^ and fill 
thf liearts of men with food and gladness., .. Acia xiw 17: So 
that, considering we arc an apostate, guilty world, wc may well 
say, with the Psahnist, The earth is full of the goodness- of the 
/.5r^/....Psahn xxxiii. 5 ; and this, notwithstanding all the ca- 
lamities which over-spread the whole earth : for we are now 
to attribute ever)- thing in our circumstances, whereby we are 
better of it than the damned in hell are, to die mere mercy and 
goodness of C'od, through Jesus Christ: Thus God reprieves 
a guilty world, and gi-ants them food and raiment, to the intent 
that they may have a space for repentance. Surely now it is 
vile, infinitely vile, to despise the riches of his goodness,, a7id for- 
bearance,, and long-sneering,, and not to take it in and under- 
stand it, that the goodness of God should lead us to repentance : 
And it is great madness, after our hard and impenitent hearts 
to go on in our rebellion,, and treasure up xvrath against the daij 
of wrath^ and revelation of the righteous judgment of God...» 
Kom. ii. 4, 5 : And yet this is die general temper, and com- 
mon way of the world. 

(3.) Another common favor granted to mankind, upon 
Christ's account, is, a general resurrection from the dead,, (I. 
Cor. XV. 21,) to the intent that all who believe, repent, and re- 
turn to God through Jesus Christ, may be completeh happ\ in 
soul and body forever. It is certain the law threatened death, 
but made no provision for a resuirection : and if the law had 
been executed, and no mediator provided, we have no reason 
to think there ever would have been any resurrection : And I 
cannot see why a general resurrection may not be considered 
under the notion of a mercy in itself, notwidistanding many, 
bv their fin;U impenitence, lay a foundation for their being rai- 
sed up to everlasting shame and confusion. I am ready to think 
that to be raised from the dead must surely be of the nature of 
n 7nercy,, and so be the effect of Christ's merits ; but the partic- 
ular manner in which the wicked shall be raised, may never- 


theless be considered as a punishment^ and so be the effect of 
their sin and final impenitence. Christ's merit lays the foun- 
dation for a general resurrection ; and all who believe and repent 
shiiU be raised up to glory and complete blessedness ; and all 
who die in their sins shall be raised up to shame and complete 

(4.) There are also divers other things granted to mankind 
in general, which seem prettj' evidently to be of the nature of 
mercies, and so to be owing to the interposition and merits of 
our glorious Mediator, Christ Jesus, the only Mediator be- 
tween God and a sinful, guilty world — to whose merits and me- 
diation, every thing which mankind enjoy, which is of the na- 
ture of a mercy, is to be attributed ; — divers things, I say, 
whereby much is done towards putting such an apostate race 
of beings into a capacity of comfortably living together in this 
world, while they are in their new state of probation ; — divers 
things in our temper, which seem originally to take their rise 
very much from that temperament of body and animal consti- 
tution which God, our Former, gives us ; — there is a 7iatural 
good humor^ a natural compassion, a natural mockstij, and nat' 
ural affections : These things, in a greater or less degree, we 
find to be natural to men, and to have a very great influence to 
keep under and restrain their corruptions, and to incline and 
prompt to many actions materially good, and greatly for the 
comfort of human society and benefit of mankind in general : 
These things do evidently keep mankind from abundance of 
wickedness, which otherwise they would commit ; — they have 
a heart for a thousand abominations, but these things restrain 
them : and these things do evidently put mankind on to a thou- 
sand actions materially good, which otherwise they would never 
do: they have a heart bad enough to neglect them, but these 
things excite them to do them. Were it not for these and 
other restraints, I see not why mankind should not be as bad 
in this world, as they will be in the next. Wicked men have 
no wickedness infused into them at death; and therefore they 
have no other nature, no other principle of sin in their hearts, 


after they are dead, than they had before: but, as soon as thty 
arc dead, they are evidently no doubt as universally contrary 
to God and all that is good, as the devils thcinstrlvcs. As 
soon as ever those things which now restrain them arc all re- 
moved, their true temper apj)cars without any disguise. It it 
no doubt, therefore, a great mercy for mankind to l>c thus re- 
strained. They enjoy more comfort....they commit less sin.... 
they merit less punibhment....thcy are under better advantages 
to live together, to enjoy the means of grace and attend to the 
oft'ers of mercy by Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of all mtUy 
hut eapecialUj oj them tluit believe. .1. lim. i\'. 10. 

Thus the great God, instead of executing the sentence of the 
law in all its severity upon a guilty world, does, through the 
mediation of Jesus Christ, grant to mankind in general these 
common fa\ors : — I'hey arc reprieved from a total ruin — have 
a comf(jrtable maintenance in this world allowed them — a gen- 
eral resurrection is decreed — several natural endowments are 
granted, to restrain from bad actions, and to prompt to actions 
materially good: And hereby the (Governor of the world has 
laid the foundation, and prepared the way to go on to use the 
methods he designed, more immediately tending to reclaim 
and recover a sinful, guilty world to himself ; for now man- 
kind are put into a sort of capacity of being treated with in 
such a way. 

These things ought deeply to affect mankind. We lie under 
many calamities, and yet enjoy many mercies in this our natu- 
ral state of guilt and condemnation ; all which ought to be im- 
proved to awaken, convince, and humble us, and lead us to re- 
pent, and cr)- to God for pardoning mercy and sanctifying grace, 
and predispose us cordially to receive and embrace that revela- 
tion, which God has made in his word, of our ruin, and the way 
of our recovery. 

But, through the great blindness and corruption of mankind, 
these things have had a very contrary effect. Mankind, find- 
ing themselves thus reprieved, and thus kindly treated by God, 
have many of them hereby been led to think they are in pretty 


good Standing.. ..not bij nature children of wrath^znd\inder 
condemnation. The devil told Eve they should 7iot surely die ; 
So, many are now ready to think that tlie old law, which threat- 
ened the least sin with death, is repealed ; and that we are now 
born into the world free from any guilt : And mankind, find- 
ing themselves endowed with natural modesty^ good-humor^ 
csmpassion, he. are ready to dream that they are bom into the 
world without any sinful corruption of nature, but rather as ho- 
ly as Adam in innocence ; and hence are very insensible 
of any need of such a Redeemer and Sanctifier as are provi- 
ded : And so they are predisposed to dislike that revelation 
which God has made in his word concerning our ruin and the 
way of our recovery ; And hence mankind are strongl)' bent to 
misunderstand, and misinterpret, and disbelieve the law and 
ihe gospel. And besides, by this goodness and forbearance 
of God, men are emboldened in sin, as if it were not a very 
great evil, nor God very much set against it. They begin to 
think God is all made up of mercy, and that they are in no great 
danger : And so, after their hard and impenitent hearts, they go 
on to treasure up xvralh against the day of wrath, and revelation 
of the righteous judgment of God. Thus God and his goodness 
are abused by this vile, wicked race of apostate, rebellious crea- 
tures : And, indeed, all this is no more than was expected : 
great reason, therefore, was there for him so effectually 
to secure his own honor, and the honor of his holy law, 
by the interposition of his own dear Son as Mediator. And 
now, let mankind be ever so bad, he can go on with his meth- 
ods of mercy, to accomplish all his designs of grace ; and all con- 
sistently with the honor ofhis holiness and justice, law and gov- 
ernment, and sacred authority. 

(5.) Mankind being naturally verv* insensible of their sinful, 
guilty, ruined state — and totally ignorant of, and unable to find 
out, any way of obtaining the divine favor, and wholly averse, 
in the temper of their hearts, to a genuine return to C>od ; there- 
fore God, ofhis infinite grace through Jesus Christ, has, in va- 
rious ways, and divers manners, accoiding to the good pleasure 


of his will, hy iiumi.iliate revelation from heaven, set htfore 
mankind their ruin, and the way of ilu-ir rectjvcrv... .offered 
many argiuni-nis, motives, and encouragements, to persuade 
them to return, and denounced tenible threatcnings to deter 
them from going on in their rel)ellion, and directed them, in the 
use of certain means of grace, to seek for the inward influences 
of the holy spirit, to awaken and convince, to humble and con- 
vert, and effectually recover them to God, through the great 

(6.) And, because the Most High sees that, through the very 
l>ad temper of mankind, this external revelation, although 
most excellently adapted thereto, yet, if left to themselves, 
would finally prove altogether ineffictual to recover an\' of 
mankind; vea, so very far from it, that mankind would not 
so much as rightly understand or believe it, or seriously take 
matters into consideration, but would misunderstand and per- 
vert it, and hnalb.' universally disbelieve and renounce and for- 
get it, and not suffer it to have any room in the world : there- 
fore he has, from the beginning of the world, and does still, and 
will to the end of the world, bv the inward influences of his 
spirit, and by the outward dispensations of his providence, 
carry on, according to his sovereign pleasure, the work of i^is 
grace. ...accomplish his eternal purposes of uKrcy....recover sin- 
ners to himself.. .maintain Uiic religif»n ivj the world. ...preserve 
his church. ..gather in all the elect.. .display all liis g orious per- 
fections in his dealings with mankind, and get to himself a 
great name in the end; exhibiting in his whole conduct, from 
first to last, the njost lively imi'.ijc of himself. 

In these two last particulars we ha\c a general account of 
those methods which dod does take with a sinful, g'.iilt\ race, 
more immediately tending to their recovery, which v.e may 
Rcc exemplified in his de:iiings with mankind, from the begin- 

1. In the earliest ages of d)e world, Itnnu-diiih'lif uftcr thr 
fitll^ he beg-.m to enter upon these m< ihods of grace : he taught 
our first parents their i uin, aud the way of their recovery by the 


promised seed; and instituted sacrifices to typify the great 
atonement, which should afterwards be made for the sins of 
the world. ...Gc;i. iii : And what he taught our first parents, 
they taught their children : and hence Cam and Abel^ and after- 
generations, learnt to worship God by sacrifice....Gen. iv. 3 — 8. 
Now Adam li\cd until Methuselah was two hundred and forty- 
six years old, and Methuselah lived until Shem was an hundred 
years old, and Shem lived until the time of Abraham and Isaac — 
yea, till Isaac was fifty years old; so that the news of Adavi'% 
fall. ..of the ruin of mankind, and of salvation by the seed of 
the ivoman, might easily have been handed down by tradition 
from one to another, and all mankind might have been fully 
acquainted with these things : And besides these external teach- 
ings and means of grace, God granted the ipward influences 
of his spirit, whereby some were effectually recovered to God, 
of whom were Abel, Enoch, and Noah, who were also signaliz- 
ed by divine Providence... .Gen. iv. 4. and v. 22. and vi. 9. com- 
pared with Ileb. xi. 4 — 7. 

But while God thus early began to use methods for the re- 
cover}' of a sinful, guilty world to himself, they began early to 
show their aversion to God, and unwillingness to return. Cain 
jeems, by the sacrifice which he offered, quite insensible that 
he was a fallen creature, and that he needed an atonement for 
sin. He brought only of the fruit of the ground for a thank- 
offering, (like the Pharisee in Luke xviii. whose prayer consist- 
ed only in thanksgiving, without any faith or repentance) but 
brought none of the flock for a sin-offering, (Gen. iv.) although 
xvithout shedding of blood there couldbe no remission.. ,.\ieh. ix. 
22. He was a formal, impenitent hypocrite, nor would God 
accept him ; but -^it7 found favor in the sight of the Lord by 
i?i\Xh....Heb. xi. 4 : And therefore Cain was angry at Ciod, and 
enraged at his brother, and murdered him, and cast off all reli- 
gion, and gave himself up to serve his lusts : yea, he forsook 
the visible church of God, and departed, and went into the 
land of AW. And thus he, and, afterwards, his posterity after 
him, join to renounce true religion, and openly distinguish 


themselves from God's visible people on earth... .Gf/i. iv. IG, 
And it seems good to the supreme Ciovcmorof the world even 
to let them all take their way, and act their own nature. 

For a while true religion was maintained in the family of 
6W/i....Gen. iv. 26 : and to put honor upon the practice there- 
of, Enoch was translated to heaven....G^;/. v. 24 : But vet, in 
process of time, they degenerated and became so much like 
the rest of the world — like the posterity of Cain^ that thej- were 
disposed to relish their company, and nian-\- their daughters.... 
Gen. vi. 2. And then presently the contagion spread — T/ie 
wickedness of mankind in general was great upon the earthy (ver. 
5.) — Alljlesh corrupted their luays^ and the earth tvas filled with 
violence, (ver. 1 1 , 12.) And now the great Governoroftho world 
raises up Xoah, and makes him Vi preacher of righteousness ; and 
Noafi preaches, and God waits an hundred and twent)' years ; 
but mankind will not be reformed, and therefore God gives 
over that generation, and drowns the world bv an uni\'ersal 
deluge. First, Mankind break through all the restraints Iv- 
ing upon them.... discover the very temper oftheir hearts.. 
licly show their aversion to God, their disregard of his grace, 
their utter unwillingness to return, and their pen-erse propen- 
sity to go on in their rebellion. Secondly, God, through the 
Mediator, uses means to reclaim them, and shows all long- 
suft'ering, and so tries them. Thirdly, They, remaining ob- 
stinate. ..trampling under foot his authority, and despising his 
goodness, he, at last, in a most public manner, executes righte- 
ous vengeance upon them. He displays his infinite goodness 
and patience in waiting so long, and using so many means fur 
their recover)-, he displays his sovereignty in waiting but just 
so long, and in taking but just so much pains with them: lie 
displays his holiness, justice, and truth, in bringing that de- 
struction upon them at the very time before threatened : and, 
in the whole, he displays his infinite wisdom — his whole con- 
duct being excellently well calculated to make all succeeding 
generations know that he is the Lord, and suited to maintain 
the honor of his holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.. .of li!«; 


law and government, and sacred authority : And thus we see 
what methods God took with the old world, together with the 
result of all. And now, 

2. We come to take a brief view of his ways with mankind 
since the Jlood^ and of their carriage towards him. There is 
no doubt but that Noah had received by tradition and well 
understood the fall of Adam... the ruin of mankind... the way 
of recovery by Me *efff/o/* Me wow«2n...the institution, end, and 
design of sacrifices : And there is no doubt but that he faith- 
fliUy instructed his children, in what he himself knew ; and 
they might have taught their children, and they the generation 
following, and so all the world might have known the way of 
salvation through a mediator : And it is certain that this would 
have been the case, had mankind been in a disposition suffi- 
ciently to have prized the knowledge of these things : But -when 
theij knew God, by parental instruction, they did not glorify 
him as God ; neither were they thankful for these advantages 
which infinite goodness had granted them, (Rom. i. 21.) but 
became vain in their imaginations^ and their foolish heart rvas 
darkened: And they soon lost the knowledge of true religion, 
and fell off to idolatry, and changed the glory of the incorrupti" 
ble God into an image made like unto corruptible man^ and to 
birds^and four-footed beasts^and creeping things^ (ver. 23.) For 
they did not like to retain God in their knoxuledge, (ver. 28.) 
And when mankind, presently after the flood, did thus pub- 
licly discover the temper of their hearts, by renouncing the 
true God and true religion, and falling away to idolatry and 
superstition, and all manner of wickedness ; — I say, when man- 
kind, notwithstanding the late awful warning they had had by 
the universal deluge, did thus quickly show themselves so 
entirely disposed to their sinful and rebellious courses — For 
this cause God gave them up^ (ver. 24, 26, 28.) — even suffer* d 
th^m to take their own way, and run their own ruin. The 
whole earth might aliTiave been God's people, and his visible 
family, but Uic)- would not : they might all have retained the 
knowledge of the true God and of the way to life, but they 


did not like to^ and God was not obliged to make tht-m, and 
therefore lie even let them take their own coarse ; and yet took 
care, in aiter ages, not to leave himself without witness, hut, 
by many wonderful works, to let all the nations of the earth 
knoxv that he was the Lord: And if any would repent and 
return, he made provision for their reception as proselytes into 
the Jewish church : And doubtless here and there one, from 
age to age, by the inward influences of his blessed spirit, were 
brought so to do ; and the rest were blinded^ as is said in a 
parallel case. ..Rom. xi. 7. 

And now the knowledgeof the true God, and of true religion, 
must presenUy have been lost from off the face of the whola 
earth, and never have been recovered, :md safan had the most 
fvill possession of the whole world to the latest posterity, had 
not free and sovereign grace interposed in a most wonderful 
manner, in this dark and awful juncture : But, in this ven- sea- 
son, God waspleased, of his own mere goodness and sovereign 
pleasure, still through the appointed mediator, by the gracious 
influences of his spirit, and by immediate revelations, and by 
the special dispensations of his providence, to preserve to him- 
self a seed to serve him. He called Abram alone, as it were, 
from the rest of the world, and blessed him; he made further 
revelations to him touching ihc promised sccd^ and entered into 
a covenant to be his God, and the God of his children after 
him : And now, a new world of wonders begins to open to our 
view, in the divine dispensations towards Abram and his seed... 
Cert, xii. Sec. 

Note — While God was doing these things with Abraham, the 
rest of the world grew wicked apace ; and therefore God 
thought fit to give a specimen of the temper of his heart, and 
let the nations know that he rvas the Lord, by raining Jire and 
brimstone cut of heaven vpon Sodom and Gomorrah, whcL were 
remarkably wicked; and, at the same time, delivering righteous 
Loty (Gen. x.) — A dispensation so remarkable, and never the 
like before heard of, that no doubt it flew like lightning all the 
world over, and spi-ead terror and surprize through the guilty 


nations : Howsoever, for all this^ they turned not to the Lord, 
— Well, Abraham is circumcised, with all his household, and 
true religion is taught and maintained in his family, and Isaac 
his son, and Eleazer his servant, seem to have been savingly 
wrought upon by divine grace : And God blesses Abraham, 
and he becomes very great ; and God protects him wherever 
he goes, to the honor of his great name, in the midst of an 
idolatrous world. Nevertheless, the world, instead of grow- 
ing wiser and better by all this, which doubtless was heard of 
and much wondered at among the nations, they grew worse 
and worse — yea, wickedness appears openly in Abraham's 
family itself. Ishmael discovers a bad spirit; he mocks at 
Isaac... .Gen. xxi. 9: And he that xvas born after the Jlcsh^ per- 
secuted him that xvas born after the spirit. ..Ga\. iv. 29: So that 
he was, in a sort, excommunicated and cast out of God's visi- 
ble family ; and it is not long before true religion is a thing 
unknown among his numerous posterity : And they who were 
of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, were now num- 
bered with the heathen. Thus, after this sort, it fared with 
Cain, the first persecutor — and thus it fares with Ishmael, for 
the warning of all godless and carnal professors : And yet, from 
age to age, this same temper has appeared, and yet still does 
appear, although, perhaps, this sin, from the beginning of the 
world to this day, has never yet gone unpunished. 

Now, it was said. In Isaac ahall thy seed be called: And 
with him God renewed the covenant, and to him the promises 
were repeated, and God blessed him, and he became very 
great; and he also was under a special divine protection — Yet 
there was vl profane Esau in his family, who made so light of 
the spiritual blessings of Abraham, as, for a mere trifle, to sell 
his birth-right : And he afterwards became a persecutor of his 
brother Jacob, and his posterity soon lost the knowledge of the 
true C^d and of the tiuc religion, and degenerated into a state 
of heathenism. 

Nor can it be attributed to any thing but the free and sove- 
reign grace of God, that Jacob and his seed did not do so too. 


But SO it was ; for so it sccmccl good in the t\ cs of him, who 
has mercy on whom he will have merctj^ anil wliose purpose^ 
according to election, alwaya stanch inJepenJent of works... 
Rom. ix. 11:1 stuw, so it was, through the power of him 
Xi'lio workcth all things according to the counsel of his own will^ 
that when all tl)e other nations of the earth were sulfercd to 
renounce the true God and the true religion, that in Jacob God 
was known^ and his name xvus great in Israel. — Never was 
tliere a nation which discovered a stronger propensity to idola- 
trv, and all manner of wickedness, than they : And notwith- 
standing all the mighty restraints, by God laid uix)n them, they 
were almost perpetually breaking through all, and rushing on 
like the horse into the batde. Neither warnings, nor threatcn- 
ings, nor the authority of God, nor the tears of their prophets, 
nor the most terrible judgments, were ever able effectually to 
restrain that people and turn them to God : And had not Ciod 
always, by his special grace, kept a remnant for himself, ihcy 
would have been like 6WoAn,and like to Gomorrah... Isai. i. 2 — 9 
— Rom. xi. 2 — 7. 

Now the divine perfections were most illustriously display- 
ed, in the divine conduct towards this people, from age to uge ; 
and that not only before their faces, but also in the eyes of all 
the nations round about them. IVIarvellous things were wrought 
in Egypt, and wonders at the Red Sea, and forty years in the 
w ildeniess, which no doubt did ring through the world, and 
w ere enough to have made all the earth know that he was the 
Lord, and, but for their perverse stubbornness, to have brought 
them all to worship him, and him only — But all this was so i:\x 
from reclaiming the heathen nations, tliat it hardly tamed the 
Israeliies themselves. They rebelled at Tiberah, and at IMas- 
sah, and at Kibroth-Hattaavah, and were perpetually provo- 
king the Lord to 7yra/A...Deut. ix. WhenhesUiv them^ then 
theij sought him ; and returned and enquired early after God. 
Nevertheless, they did fatter him with their mouth., and lied 
unto him with their tongues : For their heart w'as not right xvith 
himy neither were they stecl/ast in his covenant. ..'PaaLlxxxiu, 


.34_37: And many a time were they within a hair's breadth 
of destruction, and would surely have been utterly destroyed, 
but that he wrought for his great Jiame's sa/^f.-.Exod. xxxii. 
—Num. xiv. — Ezek. xx. 

So again, in the days of Joshua, he divided Jordan, and 
drove out the heathen before them, and gave them their land in 
possession^ and made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents : Yet 
they afterwards tempted and provoked the most high God, and 
ieptfiot his testimonies, but turned back and dealt unfaithfidly like 
their fathers : they provoked him to anger with their highplaces^ 
and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. »..V^2\xa 
Ixxviii. 54 — 58 — Judg. ii. 6—20. And now, for the space of 
many years, God, by raising \x^ judges, and by sending />ro/b/i- 
ets, and executing judgments, did labor to reform them ; but all 
in vain : for they qmckly turned aside, like a deceitfulbow : How- 
ever, in the mean while, the goodness and patience of God on 
the one hand, and his holiness and justice on the other, were 
illustriously displayed by his wonderful works in the midst of 
the earth, to be sounded out among all nations, tliat all the earth 
might know that he was the Lord. 

In the days of David and Solomon, God wrought for his 
great name'^s sake, and exalted his people, and made Israel hon- 
orable in the sight of all nations ; yet were they not sincere in 
his sight : and when outward restraints were afterwards taken 
off, they soon discovered the hidden temper of their hearts— 
that they did not care for God or his worship, but liked Dan 
and Bethel as well as the temple of Jerusalem : Thus did the 
ten tribes ; nor was their treacherous sister, Judah, more sin- 
cere. When a good king reigned, they would pretend to be 
good ; and when a bad king reigned, they stood ready for idols : 
And now God sent judgment upon them time after time, and 
sent all his servants, tlie prophets, saying, do not this abomi- 
nable thing which my soul hateth : but they would not hearken. 
The Lard God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, 
rising up betimes and sending ; becaxuse he had compassion ori his 
people^ and on his dwelling-place: but they mocked the messengers 


ofGody and despised his xvordey and misused his prophets^ until 
the wrath of (Jed arose opainst his people^ till there was no 
remedtj : Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chat- 
deesy and gave them ail into his hand.. ..II. Chron. xxxvi. 15, 
IG, 17. 

However, God was tenderly touched at the public reproach 
and dishonor to which his great name was exposed, in the eyes 
of insulting nations all around, who clapped their handsy and 
stamped with their feet ^ and rejoiced with all their hearty for what 
was done to the people called by his name — glorj ing that their 
God was no better than the dumb idols which they served.— 
Wherefore God raised up the prophet Ezekicl, who clears up 
Ciod's conduct towards his people, in chapters 16th and 18th, 
and on — -ind dooms the neighboring nations in the name of 
God, declaring wliat judgment should come upon them from 
the hand of Ciod for their insults, whereby ihey should 
he made to know that he was the Lord. in the 25th to chap- 
ter 31. And now, also, Daniel and his companions were by 
God raised up, diat by them his name might become great in 
the eyes of all nations : And for them he works such deliver- 
ances a'i to constrain the haughty mouarehsofihe earth to i.ssue 
out their decrees through all the world, that none should speak 
anij thing amiss againn the God of Shadr.ich, Meshach, and 
AI)ednego, upon pain of bring cut in piece s\:ir\d their houses 
made a dung-hill — and lliat, in all their dominions, men should 
fear and tremble before the ( iod of Daniel, ( Dan. iii. 29, and vi. 
26.) Surely the infmite wisdom ofGodap|)cats most wonder- 
fully, in all the astonishing uuihods which he has taken to make 
himself known, and to keep up the honor of his great name 
an\ong such a wicked, (iod-haiing rare of be'-ugs ! 

And now, all this while, there was nothing but the infmite 
goodness, and free and sovereign grace of (^od, together widi 
his covenant faithfulness, to mo\ e him not to cast off and ut- 
terly reject his people, and let them be scattered among the 
heathen, and their name perish from off the earth. It was for 
his great names sake that he wrought salvation for them from 


time to t\me....Ezek. xx. When there was no motive in them, 
but every thing to the contrary — then, for his own sake, he un- 
dertook to xvrite his law in their hearts^ and put it in their iiiward 
parts. be their God^ and make them his people^ and to ronem- 
ber their iniquities no more against them^ and to bring them back 
to their own land., and plant them., and build them j//>....Ezek. 
xxxvi. 16 — 34. 

And however, by the Babylonish captivity, the Jewish peo- 
ple were pretty thoroughly cured of their idolatrous disposition, 
yet, after their return, and after the godly men of that genera- 
tion were dead, they soon began to show that they were as averse 
to God, and the life of religion, as ever : And yet, all these things 
notwithstanding, God is determined to make one trial more. 
ilc had sent one servant after another, and they had been beat- 
en, and stoned, and put to shame, and sent away empty : Now, 
therefore, he sends his only Son., to see if they will hear him : 
and behold they say, Cotne., let jcs kill ^z;;7....Mat. xxi. 33 — 39. 
Wherefore, at last, God determines to cast off that nation, (ver. 
41,) and to go and trj- the heathen, whom, for a long time^ he 
had suffered to take their own ways. 

And now, to his apostles Christ gives commission, to go in- 
to all the earthy and preach the gospel to every creature ; and he 
that believeth, says he, shall be saved; and he that believeth net 
shall be dujnned : And they run, and preach, and cr\', Rcpcjit., 
and turn from your dumb idols., to serve the living God. And 
had not they been stopped, they would soon have carried the 
news all round the world : But Jews and Gentiles combine to- 
gether, and earth and hell are in arms to defeat the design ; 
nevertheless, as many as Tcere ordained to eternal life., believed : 
And God carried on his work through a sea of blood, and in 
about three hundred years conquered the Floman empire. 

No sooner is this done, but the mystery of i?iiquity begins to 
work, and the yuan of sin to l)c revealed. The devil and his ser- 
vants turn their coat, and, under the cloak of religion and good 
order, establish the kingdom of satan in a new form : for it is 
the nature of mankind to hate true religion. And now Anti- 


«hrist reigns, and scatters the holij people^ and xvcars out thr 
saints of the most higliy for a time^ and timcs^ and half a time. 
In the mean while, the woman ftes into the wilderness^ the 
witnesses prophecy in sackcloth^ until, at Uist, the witnesses tlicm- 
sclves are slain : And nu\v religion is driven even just out of 
the world, and tiicre had heen no hcijje, but that God awolce as 
one otit of sleeps like a miqhtij man that shouteth hj reason of 
wine. And behold the spirit of life from God enters into the 
tifo witnesses, that is, Luiher and Calvin, and others their 
conte mporaries ; and theij stood upon their feet ^ and great fear fell 
upon them which scnv Uicm : And God put them out of their en- 
emies reach: And there was a great earthquake, and a tenth 
part of the eittjfll.,.]\c\, ix : And a glorious day beg-an to 

But now, it is not long before many turn heretics and en- 
thusiasts, and the world rises in arms, and, by fire and sword, 
endeavors to demolish the redeemer's kingdom, llowr-vc-r, 
God wrought for his great name's sake, and has ever since 
beeu working, and w ill go on conquciing and to conquer, until 
all the nations of tlie earth are brought into sul)ji;ction to his 

Thus we have taken a brief view of the methods which God 
has taken to recover a sinful, guilty world, to himself: The 
external means we have chiclly dwelt upon; — upon the inter- 

//, something farther shall be added presentl\- : but let us first 
inake,af«w remarks. 

Ukm. 1. Had not mankind i>ecn wholl\' to blame, thevmip-ht 
.//'of them, from the beginning, have enjo\ ed ilie benciit of 
divine revelation — Nothing secluded them therefrom, but their 
own l)ad temper and bad conduct: And had not mankind 
been wholly to blame, they might ;Ul of them have enjoyed 
the gospel, and had it preached all over the world to ihi.-> day 
— Nothing has hindered it but their own perverse obstinacVt.. 
iheir hating the light, and hating ilic truth. Strange it is, 
therefore, that some men of learning should be so full of ch.u-- 

.1 B 


rity for the heathen, who thus hate God, despise Christ, and 
reject the gospel.* 

Rem. 2. Mankind have manifested the highest degree of 
aversion to God and true religion from the beginning of the 
world, and that almost in all possible ways. Hundieds, and 
thousands, and millions, have they in their rage put to death, 
and that in the most cruel and barbarous manner — Strange it 
is, therefore, that so many matters of fact have not, to this 
day, convinced mankind that they are truly enemies to God- 
Strange that they can have the face to make the old pretence, 
and say. If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would 
not have been partakers with them in the blood of the propfiets,,.. 
Mat. xxiii. 30— when all the time, from age to age, they have 
been acting over the old scene. 

Rem. 3. It has been owing wholly and entirely to the free 
grace and almighty power of God, that the church has been 
preserved^ and true religion not driven quite out of the world : 
It is one of the greatest miracles that ever was wrought. 

Rem^ 4. God has always acted sovereignly in choosing what 
family, nation, or nations, he would preserve true religion 
among ; all being by nature equally averse to God, and equally 
imworihy : and has always acted justly in giving over other 
families and nations for their sin and apostacy. 

Rem. 5. The whole scheme of the divine conduct has been 
most excellently calcidated to display all the divine perfections 
to the best advantage; and it does exhibit to us the very image 
of his heart in strong and lively colors. But to proceed, 

• But perhaps some will be ready to say, that there may l>r viany honest 
pcrjons among the Ilea then, %vho iiever heard of the gospel, and never rejected 
it, vjho vuiy stand fair for heaven. 

Ans. There is a miiubcr of such honest sort of persons among Chris- 
tians, but their natural enmity to God and Christ and gospel-gjace is found 
to be as great as others ; and sometime;, fiu.'dicans and harlots enter into 
heaven before them — Surely none of them more honest thiin the young 
■jiian in the gospel, nor ever arrived to greater attainments ; and therefcjra 
all of thetn might do as he did, if mulcr the same circvimst;inces. That 
natural kind of honesty, many times, is an occasion of men's being har- 
dened against Christianity; for they are very ready to say. Gad, J thank 
ther, I ant not as ether mrn...\\V.e him in Liile xviii. Doubtless these horest 
heathen would do a.s their fathers did. had they the opjiortunjty : So the 
humitt yexi's i\\i\....iiec Mat. .\xiii 28 — 33. 


Although the external means of grace, and remarkable dis- 
pensations of Providence, perhaps may/ in a measuif, some- 
times restrain mankind, and bring tlicm to a feigned submis- 
sion to Gotl and his laws ; yet, such is their rooted enmit\' and 
entire aversion to God and true religion, that not one will 
hereby Ik* brought to repent and sincerely tiu-n to God....Psal. 
Ixxviii. 34 — 37. and Ixxxi. 8 — 12....Isai. v. 1 — 7. Nothing 
short of those inward influences of the spirit, which arc al- 
mighty and all-conquering, will efTcctually attain the end.... 
Mat. xi. 2() — 2r....Eph. i. 19: And therefore, besides the 
fxternal means of grcice^ God has, as it were, taken a world 
of pains with one and anodier of mankind by the inward injlu" 
ences ofhia Simrit. The external means, indeed, which have 
been used, are more open to observation ; and so also is that 
cxtenial opposition which mankind have made : but the same 
ends which God has been pursuing by the external means, viz, 
to convince mankind of their sinful, guiltv, ruined stale, and 
bring them to return to God through a mediator — the same has 
he been pursuing, by the inward influences of his spirit ; — and 
the same opixjsition which has openly appeared against the 
means of grace, has also secretly wrought mighiil) in the hearts 
of men against the inward influences of the spirit. INIankind 
are as mucii inclined to resist the spirit, as they are the loord 
of God, and that for tlie same reason and from the same tem- 
per; because both aim at the same thing — a thing most cou- 
irar\' to their corruptions. 

I^erhnps there are some whom God never vouchsafes at all to 
nirive with by his spirit ; and these are ready to think there is 
no such thing. Others are a little awakened, and, from self- 
love, the fears of hell, and the hopes of heaven, they reform 
their lives a little, and set about some external duties, and so 
think to make amends for their past sins, and recommend them- 
selves to the divine favor } but are as great enemies as ever to 
the power of religion : and here God leaves them to perish. 
Others are carried farther, and become more strict and painful, 
but still from die same principles : and diere they are left to 


perish. Not one takes one step in earnest, unless he is driven 
to it ; nor goes one step farther than he is driven : and there- 
fore God leaves one here, and another there, as seems good in 
his sight. They do not like to retain God in their knoxvledge, 
and therefore he gives them over to a reprobate vii?idy as those 
spoken of in Rom. i. 28. Some, indeed, are carried very far by 
the common influences of the holy spirit ; they are enlightened^ 
...they taste of the heavenly gift, and of the powers of the world 
to come, and are made partakers of the holy ghost ; and yet, after 
aW, fall away and perish.. ..Heb. vi. They have a great sense 
of their sinful, guilty, undone state. ...of the wrath of God, 
and dreadfulness of damnation, and are mightily brought 
down ; and then have a great sense of the mercy of God, the 
dying love of Christ, and the glory of heaven : and they 
think they arc converted, and they are ravished with the 
thought. However, in the end, all is turned to feed their pride 
and their presumption, and to harden and embolden them in 
sin — They are not so much afraid of sin now, because they 
are confident they shall never go to hell : And many times this 
sort of people, through the great swelling of spiritual pride, 
and the immediate influences of Satan, come to have strange 
experiences. ...turn to be strange creatures. ...broach strange 
errors, and seem to be nearly forsaken by God, reason, and 
conscience : and yet, (} ea, and by the same means) get to be 
the holiest creatures in the world, by their own account. But 
while the sinners, with whom the holy spirit strives, do many 
of them turn out after this sort, some in one way and some in 
another, there are others with whom God makes thorough 
work ; that is, makes them thoroughly understand and feel 
their sinful, guilty, helpless, undone state, and see into and 
believe the gospel way of salvation, through Jesus Christ, and 
return home to God in that way : And now they are kept by 
the pea- cr of God through faith unto salvation. ...I. Pet. i. 5. 
And here God has mercy on whom he ivill have ?nercy — and 
even so it has been as to the external means of grace from the 
beginning of the world. With some, God has tiikcn more 


palrt'j and lonpjer ; and with others^ less pains and shorter: but 
when all the rest of tiie world dej*cncratcd to hratlienism^ God 
took ed'ccliial methods widi the Israelites to keep tiiem from 
doing so too: And thus, in a resembling manner, he does 
with all the spiritual seed of Abraham — with his elect: where- 
by, in spite of all opj>osition, Uiey arc brouijht to glorv at last : 
they arc fed with manna every tlay ; the pillar of cloud by day, 
and of fre by night, is their continual guide ; and the rock 
xvhic/i follatvs tliem is Christ ; i. e. they are fed and arc guid- 
ed—they live and arc rcfreslicd, and are helped to hold on their 
way, by continual influences from on high, b\- constant com- 
munications of divine grace : And so the path of the just is Hike 
the shining light^ which shines more and more to the perfect day. 

Rf.marks. Never is any poor sinner under the light of the 
gospel passed by, without being awakened by the Holy Spirit ; 
but God sees he is deaf to the voice of his word, and hates to 
hi awakened, and loves to go on secure. Never is any awak- 
ened sinner forsaken by the spirit of God, and left to take his 
own way, and run his own ruin, but that first he resisted and 
grieved the Holy Spirit, and stifled conviction, and rent away, 
as it were, out of God's hands : And never is a poor sinnet 
savingly brought home to God and trained up for heaven, but 
that, from first to last, it was absolutely and entirely owing to 
the inunite goodness, free grace, and almighty power of God: 
And, indeed, thus will it appear at the great day of judgment, 
that all who perish are wholly to blame, and all that are saved 
will ha\e none to glor\" in but the Lord. But I have elsewhere 
so much insisted upon the nature of the influences of the Holy 
Spirit, that I must not here enlarge. 

Thus the way to life is opened by Christ Jesus, and all are 
invited to return and be saved : And thus we see the methods 
which God takes for the recovery of a sinful, guiltv world — 
And from all that has been said we may draw these inferences : 

1. It is undoubtedly the duty of poor sinners to be deeply 
affected with all these wonderful methods of divine grace, and 
to strive and labor with the greatest, painfulness and diligence 


to fall ia with the design of the be sensible of their 
sinful, guilty, undone state, and to look to the free grace of 
God, through Jesus Christ, for relief, and to repent and return 
to God through him : Luke xiii. 2'^. ..Strive to alter in at the 
srait gate. Some are of the opinion, that because the very best 
that sinners can do, while enemies to God in their hearts, is, 
as to the manner of it, sinful and odious in the eyes of the 
divine holiness, that therefore their best way is to do nothing, 
but to sit still and wait for the spirit ; but nothing is more con- 
U-ary to scripture or reason : The scripture says. Strive to 
enter : And reason teaches, that when the God of Heaven, 
the great Governor of the world, is thus coming out after guilty 
rebels in a way of mercy, it becomes them to be deeply aft'ected 
thereat, and to exert all their rational powers in opposition to 
their sloth and corruptions. ..laboring to lie open to the means 
of conviction. ..avoiding every thing that tends to promote 
security, and to render ineffectual the methods of divine grace, 
and practising every thing that tends to their farther awaken- 
ing. And O, let this be remembered, that it is sinners' resist- 
ing the methods of grace, which causes God to give them over : 
Psal. Ixxxi. 11, 12, 13., .But my people -would not hearken to mij 
voice: arid Israel xooiild no7ie of me. So I gave them up to their 
oxvn hearts' lust : and they walked in their own counsels, O that my 
people had hearkened unto me ^and Israel had walked iyi my ways'. 
2. From what has been said, we may learn that it is mad- 
ness and folly for poor sinners to use the means of grace under 
a notion of doing their xvhole duty^ and so pacify their con- 
sciences. The means of grace are designed in the first place to 
convince sinners of their sinful, guilt}', ruined state : and lor 
them to forget, totally forget, this their end^ and to go about 
to attend upon them under a notion of doing that duty which 
they owe to God, as something in lieu of that perfect obedi- 
ence which the law requires, is quite to lose tiie benefit of the 
means of grace — yea, to thwart their very design — and tends 
to keep men from conviction and conversion, and seal them 
down in spiritual security. That which God directs them to 


do,io the end their consciences might be more awakened, ihcy 
do, that their conscient js might be more qMieied. The means 
which were apjwinted to make thtin more sensible ol ihtir 
need of Christ and gt~acc, they use to make themselves the 
more insensible thereof. 

o. Sinners arc not to use the means of gi-ace under a notion 
of makinjj amends for their j)ast sins, and recommending 
themselves to God, (Rom, x. 3.) — nor under a notion that by 
their stronj^est ellorts they shall be ever able to renew their own 
nature, (Kpli, ii. 1.) — nor under a notion ihev can <lo anv thing 
at hU to prevail with Cod to renirw them, (Kom. xi. 35, 36.) 
But, on the contrary, in the use of the means of grace, they 
arc to seek for and labor after a thorough convicdon, that they 
can neither make anv amrncls for their past sins, ncxr in the 
least recommend themselves to Ciod — that they cannot rcnev/ 
their own nature, \v>r in the least move Ciod to show themthiR 
rnerc\' the intent, that being thus convinced of their ruin* 
ed, helpless slate, they may be prepared to look to the free 
mercy and sovereign grace of Ciod, through Christ, for aH 
tilings; which is the very thing that the gospel aims at, (Kom. 
iii. 9 — 2r>.) and which the means of grace are dc ,1 rned to pro- 
mote, and bring diem to ; and to which the spirit of God, by 
his inward influences, does, in the use of means, finally bring 
all who are saved... .Kom. vii. 8, 9.. ..Gal. iii. 2k 

For sinners to use the means of grace, under the other no- 
tions aforesaid, is practically to sav, " We are not fallen, sinful, 
*' guilty, helpless, undone crc atun.s ; nor do we need the re- 
*' deemer or the suncliHer whii h Ciod h;;s provitKd ; nor do 
'' we lie at his mercy, or intend to be IxholcK n tc his mere 
" sovereign grace. II we have sinned, we can make amends 
*' for it : if we have displeased God, we can ])ariiy him again : 
*' if we are wicked, we can become good : or, if we do as well 
*' as we can, aiid then want any further help, God is liblij^ed 
*' to help us." 

If, therefore, sinners would take the wisest course to be the 
better for the use of the means of grace, they must Uy to full 


in with God's design, and with the spirit's influences, and labor 
to see and feel their sinful, guilty, condemned, helpless, undone 
state. " For this end, they must foi'sake vain company.. ..leave 
their quarreUing and contention.. ..drop their inordinate world- 
ly pursuits, and abandon every thing whioh tends to keep them 
secure in sin; and quench the motions of the spirit ; and for 
this end must thev read, hear, meditate, and pray.. .compare 
themselves with God's holy law.. ..try to view themselves in the 
same light that God does, and pass the same judgment upon 
themselves ; that so they may be in a way to approve of the 
law, and to admire the grace of the gospel — to judge and con- 
demn themselves, and humbly to apply to the free grace of God, 
through Jesus Christ, for aU things, and through him to return 
to God. 

Thus we have gone through what was pixjposed under this 
third general head : We have considered the necessity there 
was of satisfaction for sin, and of a perfect righteousness : We 
have considered what satisfaction for sin has been made, and 
what righteousness wrought out, and wherein their sufficiency 
consists : We have considered how the way of life has been 
opened by tl.e means ; and we have considered what methods 
God has actually entered upon for the recoverv of lost sinners 
to himself. And thus, now, upon the whole, we see upon 
what grounds the great Govenior of the world considered 
mankind as being in a perishing condition, and whence his de- 
signs of mercy originally took their rise, and what necessity 
there was for a Mediator and Redeemer, and how the way to 
life has been opened by him whom (iod has provided : and so 
may now pass to the next thing proposed. 


W. To show the true 7iature of a saving faith in Christ. — 
And because, by the whole, I am to explain the nature of the 
gospel, and of a genuine compliance therewith, therefore I 
will begin with a more general view of things, and afterwards 
proceed to a njore distinct survey of faith in particular. 


Now, a genuine tompliancc with the gospel, in general, 
consists in a spiritual and divine sight and sense of llie great 
truths therein presupposed and revealed... and in a firm btlict 
of those truths, and an answerable frame of heart ; — as is evi- 
dent from II. Cor. iv. 3, 4, 5 — I. Thcs. ii. 13 — Jht. xiii. 23 — 
John viii. 32. 

It is divine lights imparted by the spirit of God to the soul, 
which lays the foundation of all.... J/cv/. xi. 25 — Gal. i. IG — II. 
Cor. iii. 18. This spiritual and divine light, according to the 
language of St. Paul, shines in the hearty and consists in the 
inoiuledgc of Gi 0KY....II. Cor. iv. 6 ; that is, in a sense of 
MORAL BEAUTY— -a .9i-«.9<' of that bcauty there is in the moral 
PERFECTIONS of C'OD, and in all spiritual and divine things.... 
that holy BEAUTY which is peculiar to spiritual, and divine, 
and holy things ; of which every unholy heart is perfectly in- 
sensible.,.. I. jfohn i. 3, 6. And by //, things are made to ap» 
pear to us, in a measure, as they do to God himself, and to the 
angels and saints in heaven : And so, by /f, we are made to 
change our minds, and are brought to be of God's mind con* 
ceming things : And so we are hereby disposed to understand, 
beheve, entertain, and embrace the gospel... .yo/i72 viii. 47. 

CioiJ, the great Clovernor of the world, who sees all things 
as being what they are, does, in the gospel, consider mankind 
as perishing — as fallen, sinful, guilty, justly condemned, help- 
less, and undone. He looks upon the original consti.ution 
with Adam as holy, just, and good ; and that, by and according 
to that constitution, he might have damned the whole human 
race, consistently with his goodness, and to the honor of his 
holiness and justice ; He looks upon the law of nature as holy, 
just, and good ; and that, bj- and according to that, he might 
damn a guilty world, consistently with his goodness, and to the 
honor of his holiness and justice. Now, by this divine Ughty 
we are brought to look upon things as God does, and to have 
an answeral)le frame of heart. 

Again — God, the great Governorof the world, who sees all 

things as being what tliey are, does, in the gospel, consider a 

8 C 


guilt\ world as l\ ing at his mercy. He saw that he was under 
no obligations to pity them in the least, or in the least to miti- 
gate their punishment — much less under any obhgations to 
give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him 
should not perish, Init have everlasting life — and still much less 
under any obligations, by his holy spirit, to subdue and recover 
such obstinate rebels, who hate him and his Son. ...his law and 
his gospel, and are perfectly averse to a return. He saw a 
guilty world lie at his mercy, and that he was at liberty to have 
mercy or not to have mercy, according to his sovereign pleas- 
ure ; and that it was fit, and becoming his glorious Majcst}-, 
to act as a sovereign in this affair. And now, by this divine 
lights we are brought to look upon things as God does, and to 
have an answerable frame of heart. 

Again — God, the great Governor of the world, who sees all 
things as being what they arc, at the same time that he designs 
mercy for a guilty world, does consider a Mediator as being 
necessary to answer the demands of the broken law, and secure 
the divine honor. In such c\ periahing condition he sees man- 
kind — so justly condemned, that it would be incon- 
sistent with the divine perfections, and contrai-y to ail good 
rules of government, to pardon and save such wicked, hell-de- 
serving rebels, without some proper atonement for their sin, 
and suitable honor done to his law: But the honor of his holi- 
ness and justice. and government, is sacred in his eyes, . 
and of infinite importance, and must be maintained : better 
the whole world be damned than they in the least be sullied : 
And now, b}' this divine light, we are brought to look upon 
things as God docs, and to have an answerable fnune of hcaru 

Moreover, God, the great Governor of the world, who sets 
all things as being what they are, views his only begotten Son 
as a meet person for a mediator, and himself as having suH^:- 
cient power to authorize him to the work. Of his sovereign, 
self-moving goodness, he, in his infinite wisdom, contrives the 
whole scheme. ..lavs the whole jilan, and puts his design in ex- 
ecution — the door of mercy is opened. ..die news of pardon and 


peace is sent through a guilty world, and all arc Invited to le- 
tum home to God through Jesus Christ : and (■od looks upon 
this wav of salvation as hcinp; glorious for (iod, and safe for 
the poor sinner . And now, l>) this JJviiif itf^ht^ we are brought 
rightly to understand these things, and look upon iluni as Ciod 
does, and believe them, and to have an answerable iianic of 

iMstli/, God, tlie great Governor of the world, does, in the 
gospel, consider our return unto him through Jesus Christ, not 
onlv as a tfutt^ to which we are under infinite obligations, but 
also as a privilege of infinite value ; and, in this view of the 
case, he commonda and invites us to return ; And now, by this 
dhine light we are brought to look upon this also as God does, 
and to judge it the fittest and happiest thing in the world to 
return unto him through Jesus Christ, and to Irave an answer- 
able frame of heart : For, 

By this light we come to have a right view of the most high see him, in a measure, as the sa'uits and angels in 
heaven do^.to see him in his infinite greatness and majesty, 
and in the infinite glory and beauty of his nature : And hence 
we are made sensible that he is infinitelv worthv of the high- 
est esteem. ..reverence. ..delight, and of universal obedi- 
f ncc : And hence we see, that we, in particular, are under in- 
finite oblig-ations to love him with all our hearts, and obey him 
in every thing; and diat to do so is the happiest thing in the 
world ; diat not to do so, is infinitely wrong, and deserves an 
mfinite punishment : And thus we see the grounds of the law 
of nature. ..the reasons from whence it results, and, with all our 
hearts, consent to it, and approve of it as holy, just, and good : 
And this naturally lays the foundation for us rightly to lUider- 
stand, and heartily to approve of the original constitution with 
Adam: And while we behold God in his infuiitc g!or\', and 
view the law as holy, just, and good, and see our infinite obli- 
gations perfecUy to conform unto it — now our universal depra- 
\ity and infinite ill desert appear in a clear and divine ligkt: 
ilence it appears wc lie at mercy, and that it is fit he should 


have mercy on whom he will.. .that it becomes the Majesty of 
heaven to act as a sovereign in this affair : And it appears that 
there is no motive in us to excite his compassions, but infinite- 
ly to the contrar)' : and hence the heart is prepared to discern 
the freeness of divine grace, and to perceive that the goodness 
of the divine nature must be self-moving j and also to under- 
stand the need there is of a mediator to secure the divine ho- 
tior : for creatures so bad appear too vile to be relieved, unless 
justice may first be satisfied j it is contrary to law, and contra- 
ry to reason, that they should. And while we view these 
things, and have a divine sense of them on our hearts, we arc 
hereby prepared to understand the way of salvation by free 
grace through Jesus Christ, as revealed in the gospel : And 
now a sense of the glorious freeness of divine grace. ...the ex- 
cellence and sufficiency of Christ, and the readiness of God 
to be reconciled to returning sinners through him, lays the 
foundation for faith and hope.* And all this while there is 
secretly enkindling in the heart a most genuine disposition to 
return home to God.. love him and live to him, arising 
from a sense of the ineffable glory and beauty of the divine na- 
ture : for he appears glorious in holiness, justice, goodness, and 
grace ; and glorious in his sovereignty and in his majesty, as 
supreme Lord and high Governor of the whole worlds Upon 
the whole, with utmost solemnity, as being in omselves infiniie- 
1}' unfit for the divine favor, we venture our eternal all upon 
Jesus Christ as Mediator^ relying on his worth and merits, and 
trusting to the mere free mercy of God through him, for pur- 

• All these things (although it takes considerable time to express them 
in order) may, for substance, instantly open to view, and the soul itiinie- 
diately acquiesce in the gospel-scheme and close with Christ; — instantly, I 
say, upon divine light's being imparted to the soul: But the inind, in 
that solemn and awful hour, may especially fix only upon some particu- 
lars; and so a remembrance of these may remain, while other particulars, 
vhich were then in view, cannot afterwards be recollected. Hence, some 
may doubt whether their^r** act of faith was right. The best way to 
remove such fears, is to live in the exercise of faith every day ; for when 
these views, and a consciousness of them, become habitual, our scruples 
will cease of course. The special nature of owx faith may be learnt from 
the after acts, as well as by the frst act; for the after acts will be of th* 
bamc nature with the frst, let our faith be trut or false. 


don, and grace, and glory ; and hence are encouraged and cm- 
boldcncil, witli our whole hearts, to return home to God through 
him, and give up ourselves to (iod forever, to love him and 
live to him, and live upon him forever, lamenting that ever we 
sinned against him, resolving to cleave to him with all our 
heaits, and never, never to depart from h\m..,. Nth. iv. in, and 
X. 19 — 22 — L/j/u ii. 18 — yohn xiv. 6 — A'om. iii. 24, 25, 26. 
And thus, hv this divine light, imparted by the spirit of Gwi, 
is the soul fuiallv brought to unite to Christ bv faith, and to re- 
turn home to (jod through him. John vi. 44, 45....No wan 
can come to me, except the Father draw him : They shedl be all 
taught of God, Every man, therefore, that hath heard and learn' 
ed of the Father, cometh unto me. And from what has been 
said concerning the nature oi the gospel, it is self-evident that 
herein consists a genuine compliance therewith : For all this 
is only to see things as being what they are, and to be affected 
ami act accordingly. 

Kkmark 1. This is peculiar to a genuine compliance with 
the gospel, and that whereby it is specifically different from all 
counterfeits, nanulx — its being founded in, and resulting from 
\\\\s divine light ; whereby we are brought, not merely in spec- 
ulation, but in heart, to look upon things as God docs. He 
sees all things as they are ; and Uierefore when any poor sinner 
is brought to a right view of things, i. e. to sec ihcm as they are, 
he must, by consequence, look upon them as God does. Now, 
all others being blind and ign